When the crew of Voyager is saved from the Kazon by a mysterious stranger solving the puzzle surrounding him raises more questions than answers. Only Tom can answer their questions but due to the plotting of a treacherous crewmember he may not get a chane to.
Categories: TOM PARIS Fanfiction Section Characters:
1. Part 1 by Zappy Zaps
2. Part 2 by Zappy Zaps
3. Part 3 by Zappy Zaps
4. Part 4 by Zappy Zaps
5. Part 5 by Zappy Zaps
6. Part 6 by Zappy Zaps
7. Part 7 by Zappy Zaps
8. Part 8 by Zappy Zaps
9. Part 9 by Zappy Zaps
10. Part 10 by Zappy Zaps
11. Part 11 by Zappy Zaps
12. Part 12 by Zappy Zaps
13. Part 13 by Zappy Zaps
14. Part 14 by Zappy Zaps
15. Part 15 by Zappy Zaps
16. Part 16 by Zappy Zaps
17. Part 17 of 17 by Zappy Zaps
Disclaimer: All the Star Trek characters are Paramount’s. I don’t own them (yet). ;)
Archiving: Please do, but tell me!
Author’s note: Back to my favourite genre! Action/Adventure, Alternate Universe!! Mwa-ha ha ha haaa!! J
The house was eerily quiet. The large rooms displaying artefacts from across the Federation lay unappreciated in the empty rooms. On the second level of the house there was motion. In her child’s bedroom she packed everything she could fit in the suitcase. Confused blue eyes watched her every move trying to understand what was happening. What was wrong with his Mommy?
“Everything will be okay, Tommy. I promise,” she kept telling him. Every so often her movements would slow and she would cast him a smile but the tears in her eyes betrayed her true feelings. “It’ll be alright.”
It seemed like only yesterday they were happy together and ready to start their lives with one another. Merra Corrin married her love Owen Paris and in doing so she turned her back on the rest of her family. Despite her human appearance, Merra was not human. She was a Fieran, a species residing only a few light-years outside Federation space in the Fieran Empire. She was in fact part of the Empires Monarchy. The second born child of the King and Queen and though she would never rule unless her older brother died before he produced an heir, she still had her duties to her people.
When she married outside her species she had no choice but to leave her family behind. It was frowned upon for any member of the royal family to marry outside their species; they had to keep the bloodline pure with only Fieran ancestry. Merra’s clear disregard for the ways of her people angered her parents who disowned her as long as she was married to the human.
Merra had been willing to put it all behind her as long as she and her love were together. At the time, only that seemed to matter but as the years wore on she began to see the error of her choice.
Owen had been a Commander when she married him but was promoted to Captain only one year into their marriage. Although the promotion made it more difficult for Owen to spend time at home, he was happy and since her mate was happy, so was Merra. Merra found herself wanting to start a family. Owen had his career to keep him busy but Merra’s work as a paediatric nurse only made the urge stronger.
Fieran and humans are identical in physical appearance but the slight differences in physiology were enough to make creating a child extremely difficult. Finally after years of visiting doctors and trying, they were blessed with a child. Merra gave birth to a healthy baby boy. He would be her first and only child.
“Come on Tommy,” Merra said as she picked up her son with one arm and the small suitcase with the other.
“Where we going?” Tommy finally asked as he wrapped he wrapped an arm around his mother’s neck.
“We’re….we’re going….” She looked at the bruise on her son’s upper arm knowing how it got there. “We’re going somewhere we’ll be safe.” They went down the stairs to the main level. She hoped Owen was still at work and hadn’t come home to pay them a surprise visit. For the first time in what seemed like ages luck was on her side –only the two of them were in the house.
“Daddy come too?” Tommy asked as he saw they were heading for the door.
“No Tommy, he’s not.” Merra looked out the window and hoped her ride would get here soon. “Where is she?” she whispered to herself. Panic was beginning to rise and she feared they wouldn’t get away before Owen realised something was happening. A moment later Merra’s prayer’s were answered and hover car pulled up to the entrance.
A middle aged auburn haired woman stepped out of the vehicle and quickly made her way up the stairs. Merra opened the door and gave her friend a quick hug. No words were exchanged between the two. Merra’s friend picked up the suitcase and took it down to the car. Merra put Tommy down to get her own suitcase from the master bedroom.
He watched as his mother raced up the stairs. Looking in the opposite direction he watched the woman he recognized as his mother’s friend that had two daughters. He still didn’t understand why all this was happening. He stayed where his mother left him not wanting to cause any trouble.
In the master bedroom she looked at the mementos around the room that marked the happy times during her life with Owen. All of which had been taken away in one mission. He had left and come back a haunted and changed man.
Her hand wrapped around the handle of the case and after one last glance at the place she had called home she left, tears streaming down her face. Rushing down the stairs she saw Tommy still standing where she left him. Another doubt ran through her mind –what would leaving do to her son? How would he grow up without someone to call Daddy? But then again how could he grow up with the person he called daddy hurting him? This would be best for both of them.
“Thank you, Gretchen,” Merra said to her friend that was taking the second suitcase.
“Let’s get going,” Gretchen said. Merra picked up Thomas again. Gretchen placed the other suitcase in the trunk while Merra sat herself and Thomas on the passenger side.
The vehicle sped away from the house leaving the rooms empty and the house silent once again. Merra would never have to shed another tear within those walls and Owen could never hurt them ever again.
He saw the car coming towards the small ship and he opened the hatch door to greet them. The hover car stopped a few meters away and Merra, her son and best friend Gretchen were out in an instant.
“Kail,” Merra said happily when she saw her brother. It had been many years since they had seen each other. She wished they could have met again under better circumstances. Kail gave her a brief smile as he went to get the two pieces of luggage and put them in the ship. He wasn’t supposed to be here and the sooner they left the better.
“I want daddy!” Kail heard his nephew cry. Merra tried to quiet him but her own heart was racing and she barely had a hold on her own emotions. Tommy was just too young to understand the danger he was in with Owen around.
“Daddy!” The child began to wail and struggled to free himself from Merra’s grasp.
“Tommy!” Tears pooled in her eyes as she tried to control her son and herself, but she wasn’t having any luck with either. Kail came to her rescue and took the struggling toddler from her. They didn’t notice the stuffed teddy fall to the ground as they headed for the ship.
“Merra,” Gretchen called hoping to say something to make her reconsider this action but there was nothing left to say. She was the only person other than the family physician that knew of the plight facing Merra.
“Thank you, Mrs. Janeway, for helping her.” Kail said. He turned and stepped into the shuttle followed by Merra. The hatch began to close.
“Thank you.” The tears finally fell and the last image Gretchen had of her friend was of the broken and lost woman that had all her dreams crushed by a distant enemy and the one that lived in her home.
She watched helplessly as the vessel ascended into the clear sky until she lost it in the bright sun. Looking back down she noticed the ragged teddy bear on the ground and picked it up. Holding it in her hands she hoped she had done the right thing.
“Tommy stop it!” Merra scolded her son. She was trying to secure him in the safety seat but he wouldn’t stop struggling. She was at her wits end and her patience was running out. She lost the tenacious grip she had on her raging emotions,“Tommy!” her hand came up and she nearly slapped him but she was stopped.
“Merra, I’ll do it.” Kail said and pulled her to her feet. He released the hold he had on her wrist and crouched in front of the child who was still crying. “Tommy, do you understand that your mother loves you?” Kail asked and Tommy nodded his head. “Then trust her. She’ll never hurt you. She only does what’s best for you.”
“Daddy loves me,” Tommy said. The flow of tears began to slow. “He hurts me.”
Kail was dumbstruck at the child’s statement. Merra had told him what was happening in their home but hearing it from someone as innocent and Tommy made it seem several times more horrible. “He’ll never hurt you again, Tommy.”
“I want my Daddy!” Tommy started crying again but Kail managed to strap him in. He went back to the helm and sat down silently. Merra was in the co-pilot’s seat looking straight ahead. Somewhere out there was her home planet and the family she had sworn never to return to. How could she go back now? What would she do if they didn’t want her? Where would she and Tommy go?
She felt a hand on her shoulder looked to her left. Her younger brother’s caring gaze met with her distraught one and she had to look away.
“Mer, they’ll take you back.” Kail reassured his sister.
“You told them, didn’t you?” She had asked him not to tell anybody but suspected that it was the only way he was able to get use of this ship.
“I’m sorry, I had to.”
“No, I’m sorry. I’m sorry dragged you into this.” She said looking out at the stars that flew by at unfathomable speeds. She heard him get up and a moment later his arms were around her.
“You’re worth it.”
The small vessel touched the top of the building as Kail landed the ship several days after their departure from Earth. They had made it out of Federation space without problem and arrived at Fierum Prime. The shuttle was quiet, only the hum of the engines echoing within the bulkhead was heard and when Kail tapped a button to cut the engines that sound too disappeared. The silence was almost to loud but the pounding of her heart in her ears was deafening.
They saw the doors of an exit on the roof open and a group of people walked out. If it was possible Merra became more distressed. She didn’t move from her seat until Kail helped her up and with words of encouragement had her functioning again.
They went to the other room where Tommy was sleeping on the bed. Without waking him Merra picked him up. The trip had been hard for him. He had asked for his father many times and each time they had to deny him his request. One day he’d understand that they did what they had to do for his safety.
Tommy shifted to get comfortable and fell asleep again with his head on his mother’s shoulder. Kail could see she was tired and offered to carry Tommy but she wouldn’t let him go. She held the small boy close to her. He was all she had left. She regretted many things in her life but Thomas wasn’t one of those things. Putting on a brave face she and Kail exited the ship.
She stood face to face with the people she had turned her back on years ago, and in turn they did the same to her. The air was thick with tension as they waited for Merra to say something. She would have to make the first move.
King Juma Corrin and Queen Sielé Corrin looked at their wayward daughter. Sielé was trying to keep the emotionless mask in place but she was so happy to see her daughter, she wanted to wrap her arms around her little princess and never let her go.
“I’m sorry,” she finally stated looking each one of them in the eye in turn. She was brought up as royalty and just because she hadn’t accepted that life she still knew she was expected and trained to conduct herself accordingly. “For all the trouble I’ve caused and for turning away from you.” She looked down briefly to compose herself. “I would be eternally grateful if you’d take me back as your daughter but I’d understand if you don’t. I….I’m sorry.” She looked down again not able to hold her gaze against them. She was tired emotionally and physically. She hadn’t slept well on the trip and she had so many conflicting thoughts racing through her mind, even now.
Juma stepped forward and with two fingers under his daughter’s chin raised her head so that she was looking at him. She looked for a response to her request and when he smiled softly at her she knew what the answer was. He pulled her into a hug, careful of the child in her arms. Pulling back he smiled more broadly at his daughter and ran an affectionate hand through the child’s blonde hair. Sielé stepped forward and with a smile she hugged her daughter and savoured the moment.
“This is Tommy, my angel,” Merra introduced her sleeping son to them. Sielé smiled and picked up Tommy. He didn’t awaken as his handler was changed. Sielé traced the delicate features of his face as he slept. How could anyone hurt something so sweet, so innocent?
Half an hour later Kail and his older brother, the future King brought Tommy to his room. Merra was still with their parents talking about what had happened and what happens next. Kail was carrying Tommy who had his head resting against the man's shoulder, still asleep. He had only woken once and with his mother’s assurance that they were safe and that he was loved Tommy dozed off again.
“We should check him for injuries,” Kail said.
“Let him rest for now. We’ll take him to see the Doctor in the morning,” said Reigh. They passed through another set of doors and into what would be Tommy’s room. Walking to the bed Kail gently lay Tommy down while Reigh retrieved some sleeping garments for Tommy from the replicator.
“We’re lucky,” Reigh said as he changed Tommy into the garments.
“I know. Who know what Owen would have done to them.” Kail’s blood boiled just thinking of the man he had trusted to care for his sister. He calmed himself repeating that Owen didn’t mean to hurt them. The Cardassians had tortured him and he was having trouble dealing with it but he wasn’t willing to see a counsellor.
“If it weren’t for Tommy, I don’t think she would have returned.” Reigh pulled back the covers and tucked the child in. “Her pride would have gotten he better of her and she would have ‘handled’ the abuse.”
“But she couldn’t put her own child in that sort of danger.”
Reigh and Kail walked to the exit of the room. They would check on Tommy every few hours until Merra went to stay with him. They were certain she would chose to be near her offspring tonight and they were correct in their assumption.
A few hours later Merra walked into the dark room. She carefully and quietly made her way to her son’s bed, exhaustion weighing down her every step. Her gaze rested on her sleeping child for several minutes. They had made it; they were safe now.
She lay down in the large bed next to her son. Her mind was blank. With everything that had occurred in the short time she had left earth and arrived here, her mind seemed to have shut down for the night. She needed sleep. Her only thoughts were of her son as her eyelids fell closed and her breathing slowed and she stumbled in the realm of sleep.
A few days earlier back on earth…..
Owen walked into his home. It was late and all the lights were out. He assumed Merra and Tommy were asleep but checking Tommy’s room he found his son missing and going to the master bedroom he found the bed empty. That’s when he noticed the state of the room. Drawers were half open and half empty and most of Merra’s clothing was removed from the closet. He saw a padd lying on the dresser. He turned it on and the message was addressed to him.
He had to read it a few times before he understood but there were still so many questions. He sat on the corner of the bed for many minutes just looking at the message. A river of emotions coursed through him, too many for him to identify or differentiate. He could hardly comprehend what he was thinking; trying to understand what Merra had been thinking wasn’t any easier.
Getting up he dropped the padd haphazardly on the floor, not at all caring where it ended up, and went down to the main level. He needed something to calm his nerves and alcohol was just the depressant to do it. He had been drinking a lot lately; trying to keep the dreams and memories at bay but he knew it wasn’t working. He took out his anger and frustrations on his family: his wife and his son.
He poured a glass of red wine and took a few sips. She had threatened to leave if he didn’t get help but he had refused to listen and hit her again. He remembered the back of his hand connecting with her face during one of his too frequent fits. His hand began to tremble.
Tommy was gone too. Had he hurt him too? He was having trouble remembering. Everything was so confusing. The sparkling blue eyes that would stare up at him with uncontained enthusiasm. Daddy was Tommy’s hero and what had he done? He’d hurt him. Twisted the small arm until it broke, hit him when he began to cry…
The glass fell from Owen’s hand and shattered on the kitchen floor. A moment later Owen fell to his knees barely missing the shards of glass. What had he done? His pride had been so badly injured when the Cardassians captured him and the taunts and jokes they made at his expense combined with the gruelling acts of torture had crushed him further. Needing to restore the sense of pride he had always carried with him before, he had ignored the suggestions of friends, family and physicians and dealt with what happened on his own. Or so he tried. He had been so wrapped up in being strong; being a true Paris that he had been blind to how he was hurting those he cared about.
He needed help. He could admit that to himself now but he didn’t know whom to turn to. He wouldn’t be able to face the look in their eyes. Pity, he didn’t want their pity; he didn’t want their help.
Tommy was playing with his new toys and his new uncles, Reigh and Kail. He liked them. They were nice. He was flying around a small ship while Kail flew another toy ship and pretended to attack him. Tommy’s carefree charm was a welcome distraction for the two older men. There had been a lot going in the past few days.
Captain Paris who demanded to speak to his wife had contacted the Fieran Empire on several ocassions. Owen knew where Merra would have gone and he was right. Merra agreed to speak with him much to her parents’ aversion. The conversation had not gone well. Owen refused to seek counselling but demanded to have his son returned to him, terms Merra could never agree to. They had argued for several minutes and the rage in Owen’s voice scared Merra even though she was millions of miles away.
Owen threatened to go and get Tommy himself but Merra had an all-purpose contingency plan. She had a threat he would not take lightly, one that could halt his career in his tracks.
If he so much as came in the direction of the Fieran Empire she would make public what he did to his son and to her. His career was very important to him and she knew it. The Paris tradition was his Achilles’ heel. He wouldn’t, nay *couldn’t* risk people knowing of his abusive tendencies and so he left them alone.
After the communication ended he paced the length of his office many times, threatening to wear a hole in the carpet. He had just given up his son and the woman he loved. He hadn’t meant to hurt her and promised never to do it again, but he had made that very promise before. Apologize, say he loved them and promised never to do it again but still it happened and Merra couldn’t take anymore.
The doors to room where Tommy, Reigh and Kail were playing swung open and Merra walked in accompanied by Sielé. Tommy rushed to her with his arms raised, the universal sign to be picked up.
“How’s my angel?” She asked him.
“We play,” he responded showing her his little ship. Merra and her mother smiled. “Daddy come?” Tommy asked hopefully. They had told him everyday since they had left Earth that Daddy wasn’t coming but he still held hope that his hero would come through those doors.
“Why don’t you understand?” Merra whispered sorrowfully to him. Sielé laid a loving hand on Merra’s shoulder. One day he’d understand and hopefully he’d forgive her for taking him away from his father, his hero.
The corridors of the sleek intrepid class ship were filled with newly hopefully personnel. They had been rescued from the hell they had been living in for the past month and where on their way home. It would be a long and difficult journey, of that they had no doubts but at least they had a chance.
Captain Janeway and newly commissioned Commander Chakotay were in the ready room discussing one man. An enigma, wrapped in a mystery, housed in a body, that’s how they described Thomas Corrin. Actually he had only given them his first name but Chakotay had been able to provide the last name. They had met before on the Liberty and a mutual friend had introduced them.
“Who is he? He looks familiar to me but…” she raised her hands in confusion. Corrin had been less than forthcoming with information and right now he was unavailable to answer anymore of their questions. The holographic Doctor had very rudely evicted them from ‘his’ sickbay to work on his patient.
“You said you met him before,” Kathryn said to her first officer.
“Yes, in the DMZ.”
“Then he’s a Maquis,” she concluded. They had so little information on him they were grasping at straws.
Chakotay shook his head. “He’s not Maquis. I never heard of him serving in any of the sects and a friend of his who served on my ship told me that Corrin wasn’t Maquis.”
Janeway sighed. “He carries himself like he’s been trained, and trained hard. Like a soldier or an officer of something.”
“His friend was the same way. Sobey, was his name. Unfortunately he didn’t survive the trip to this quadrant.” There was a moment of silence and Chakotay thought of his fallen comrade. “He was a good man and he may have been able to help us but there was a lot I didn’t know about him. We weren’t very picky with who we had working with us.”
‘Doctor to Captain Janeway,’ the voice interrupted.
“Go ahead Doctor.” Janeway said leaning back in her chair. She was tired. After the past month they had to live through anybody would be tired.
“Tom has just left sickbay and is head for your location as I speak.”
“Is he alright?” the Captain asked. They hadn’t known Corrin had been injured until he nearly collapsed on the bridge. His clothing had hidden the injuries and Corrin hadn’t told anybody.
“He’s fine for now but I need to see him daily for the next week to continue treatment of his leg injury.”
“Thank you Doctor. Janeway out.”
“He didn’t seem pleased with being transported to sickbay earlier. Do you think he’ll agree to going back there on a daily basis for the next week?” Chakotay asked.
“I’ll make it an order if I have to but then again he’s not really under my command is he?”
They had only been free for about two days and had quickly organized the crew in order for them to make their escape. The Maquis had adopted Starfleet uniforms but Tom Corrin had been busy or just overlooked.
The announcer rang and Captain Janeway and Commander Chakotay stood as Kathryn gave permission for the person to enter. Tom Corrin walked in and stood before the two officers at attention. He was a few centimetres taller than Chakotay but had a lean build. His azure gaze rested somewhere on the wall behind Janeway. Kathryn and Chakotay briefly glanced at each other. He was definitely a soldier or officer of some kind.
“Mr. Corrin,” Janeway started, “thank you again for saving our crews.” She waited but Corrin didn’t say anything so she continued. “I’d like to offer you a posting on Voyager. We could use your talents at the helm and since you’re going the same way we are it would be rational for you to join us.”
Chakotay and watched Corrin carefully. He looked exactly as he did when he saw him in the DMZ, though healthier now. His face was a veiled, allowing no one to see what he was thinking or feeling. He was strong and as far as they knew was a good person. Hopefully he would join them.
Tom responded to the offer, “No, thank you.”
End Part 1
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His response shocked both Captain Janeway and Commander Chakotay into a brief silence. He turned down the Captain’s offer for reason’s known only to him. Captain Janeway was the first to find her voice. “May I ask why?” Janeway walked around the desk to stand in front of Corrin but he kept his eyes on the wall.
His jaw clenched for a moment and Chakotay noted the response. “It would be simpler,” was all he said.
“You’d be on your own in a hostile quadrant, an enemy of the Kazon. It would be a good idea for you to stay with us until we leave Kazon territory or at least until your injury has healed.” The Captain gestured to his leg. If the injury was causing him any pain he didn’t let it show.
“Alright, I’ll stay,” He said meeting the Captain’s hazel gaze, ‘for now’. The unspoken but heavily implied words hung in the air.
The Captain nodded once and stepped away. “We’ll arrange for quarters for you and a uniform-”
“No uniform,” he interrupted. “I don’t intend on staying long enough to become part of this crew.” He told her what she already suspected. Janeway agreed to his term but warned him that he was to conduct himself as any officer would and obey the orders of superior officers. She didn’t think that self-discipline would be a problem with him but would he be willing to take orders from officers on her ship? He had already proved to be a very independent but reliable person.
The Captain gave him a few other pieces of information and a commbadge, which he accepted after a brief hesitation.
“Am I dismissed?” he asked dispassionately after Janeway had stopped talking. She nodded and without another word Corrin left the room. Kathryn and Chakotay looked at each other. That was odd, they were both thinking. Chakotay made a mental note to talk to Ayala and Dalby. They had been friends with Sobey when they were on the Liberty. Maybe they knew something he didn’t
His quarters were bare, the drab gray furniture and walls going unfurnished. Tom took off the outer jacket of his suit leaving the tank top on. He tossed the top in the refresher before opening the bag with his few belongings. His shuttle had been destroyed and he had lost most of what he had. It was against Starfleet regulations for him to have these objects in his quarters but most people would not even be able to identify them. He would hide them in a closet or something as not to draw attention to them but he wasn’t planning on entertaining in his quarters. He didn’t plan on being here long enough to make any friends anyway.
The mess hall was alive with activity as hungry crewmembers came and went. Neelix was serving some food that didn’t look all that edible but nobody seemed to mind. Chakotay waked in and spotted the two men he was looking for sitting at a table near the back along with Gerron. Getting his own meal, the former Maquis captain joined their table.
“Captain,” Miguel Ayala greeted simply. Chakotay wasn’t a Captain anymore but he was still the leader of the Maquis. It would take sometime for them to get used to calling him ‘commander’. Kenneth Dalby and Gerron Tem greeted Chakotay in a similar fashion.
Chakotay noticed that the conversation they were having had ended when he joined them which either meant that they were discussing rumors (or gossiping but they don’t like to call it that; women gossip) or they were complaining about their current accommodations. Chakotay guessed that it was the first one. They had been ‘living’ on Voyager for the past month and were used to how things were done. If anything, they were relieved that the Kazon weren’t breathing down their necks and monitoring their every move.
“It’s suddenly very quiet at this table,” he noted out loud. “What were you talking about?”
Ken looked around to make sure nobody was listening in on the conversation before replying. “Tom.”
“Why?” Chakotay inquired. Did everybody notice that the man was not very forthcoming with information about himself?
“He’s a lot like Sobey,” Ayala said.
“I was going to ask you about him. Did Sobey ever mention Tom to you?” Chakotay asked them.
“Only that time when he was on the Liberty for a few hours.”
“No. Why?” Miguel posed.
“Just curious. There’s a lot we don’t know about Tom Corrin and it seems he wants to keep it that way,” Chakotay said.
“Corrin? Are you sure that’s his name?” asked the usually quiet Gerron. Only a few people knew his last name was Corrin. Sobey hadn’t told anybody else and Chakotay said it on the bridge so only the bridge officers who had been listening knew, which weren’t many. They had all been very busy keeping the ship running.
“That’s what Sobey said it was,” Chakotay provided, wondering what Gerron was getting at.
“Sobey wasn’t Sobey’s real name though,” Gerron said.
“What does it matter if his surname is Corrin?” Chakotay wanted to know. Gerron may have some information that would be useful in unraveling the mystery of Tom Corrin.
“Maybe it’s just a coincidence but Corrin is the name of the royal family of the Fieran Empire,” Gerron said.
“But he’s human,” Dalby stated what Chakotay and Ayala were all thinking.
“Fierans and humans are identical in appearance, so you really can’t tell.”
For a few moments there was a thoughtful silence at the table until Miguel spoke again.
“What would royalty be doing in the DMZ? And I don’t know if you guys noticed but he acts more like a soldier than a prince.”
Chakotay agreed with Ayala’s assessment but maybe it was just all an act. Mind you a very convincing one.
Checking that there was no one around, thirteen-year-old Tom Paris exited the shuttle and headed to the entrance to the palace. He had taken the shuttle without permission and gone to see his gang. He didn’t tell anybody because of course they would object, but then again they seldom took interest in anything he did.
“Late night?” a male voice asked from Tom’s left. An older man stepped out of the night shadows and looked at Tom. Tom recognized the voice and a slight smile graced his features.
“You could say that.”
“Where have you been?”
“I could ask you the same question, Kail,” Tom retorted not wanting to tell one of the few people who actually acted like he mattered that he had, in essence, stolen a shuttle to engage in some not-so-legal activity.
“That group you hang out with, they’ll end up in a detention facility and if you don’t stop you’ll end up going with them,” Kail warned his nephew.
“So what? They don’t care were I ended up,” he gestured to the palace, “why should I?” the anger in his voice was unmistakable.
Kail looked up at the looming structure knowing how Tom must be feeling. He had felt the same way at one time. Not being the first born in the royal family made both Kail and Merra feel inadequate as most of their parents’ attention was lavished on Reigh. Part of the reason Merra had left was to escape living in the Reigh’s shadow but unfortunately that didn’t turn out as she had planned and neither had returning to the Empire.
Merra had never remarried and no divorce papers ever came so Owen and Merra were just separated. Merra had still used Paris as her last name even after the return to the empire and because of this she could never have ruled had anything happened to her older brother. Since Tommy was not completely Fieran he could not officially claim his title as a prince or a member of the Fieran monarchy. During ceremonies he stood off at the side, during major events and gatherings he was forgotten and when people asked his name, he told them it was Tom Paris.
Five years ago there had been a massive attack on the Palace by a group of malcontents hoping to ‘free’ the people from the rule of the monarchy. The attempted coup had failed but there had been casualties –among them were Kail’s fiancé and Merra who was killed before Tom’s eyes.
In his grief, eight-year-old Tommy had pushed people away when what he really needed was their comfort and support. Most people were blind to this as much of their attention was transfixed on the Reigh’s pregnant wife who had been injured quite severely. The only person who took the time to comfort Tommy was Kail even when he was grieving the loss of his love.
Tommy’s status in the monarchy after the attack hadn’t change, if anything it had gotten worse. Merra had acted as a constant reminder for people, that no matter what Tommy’s last name was, he was still part of the Corrin family. With her gone, Tommy was easily forgotten. The segregation had been bearable when his mother was around because she never forgot him but when she had left, the isolation had been too much for such a young person and he sought out a place were could be accepted as he was. He found that in a gang.
“They do care Tommy, they just don’t show it often.” Kail told him.
“So where the hell have you been?” Tom was still angry. Kail’s assurances that he was cared for didn’t make him feel any better and Kail knew it would take more than one statement to allow Tom to see the sometimes hidden sentiments.
“I’ve been around,” Kail said cryptically. He couldn’t give away too much information. His line of work was very secretive.
“Felt like leaving again, huh?” Tom said a little more softly. Kail heard the pain in his voice and felt terrible for making his nephew feel so badly. Kail had been Tom’s best friend even before Merra’s death. His ‘work’ however caused him to leave Fierum and even the Empire on several occasions. After his fiancé died those occasion became more frequent and the duration became longer.
Tom didn’t mind at first. He understood that Kail had his own life and couldn’t be with him all the time but when Tom had needed someone to be his friend, someone who could grieve with him, he found no one. Sielé, Juma and Reigh were always very busy and couldn’t afford to spend time with him so Tom had kept mostly to himself.
“Tommy, I’m not abandoning you,” Kail defended himself.
“I never said you were.”
“But that’s how it feels to you,” Kail said and Tom was silent. “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be.” Tom walked the last few meters to the entrance and was about to go but Kail’s hand on his shoulder prevented him from going any farther.
“I’m sorry Tommy,” Kail turned him so they were facing each other but Tom was looking down. Kail wrapped his arms around Tom and held him. At first Tom didn’t move but after a few second Tom’s arms came up and he buried his face in the taller man’s chest. A few tears fell as Tom’s anger turned to sorrow. Kail held him and with soft words assured him that he was loved.
The next morning Kail was eating breakfast in the informal dining room while Reigh coaxed his son Kaiche, who was four and a half years old, into eating his breakfast. Tom walked in and grabbed a piece of fruit from the bowl on the table. A large feline type creature followed him in. Kail regarded the beast and wondered how Tommy convinced them to let him keep it. He had heard the story about how they acquired this animal.
When Kail had been away on one of his infamous trips Tommy had found the animal, only it had been a cub at the time. Back then it looked like a little ball of fur with two eyes and tail but over the years it grew to its full size. It had a short coat of fur like a panther but it was midnight blue, almost black with, piercing amber eyes and it measured two and a half meters from the end of its tail to the tip of its nose. The animal, named Sierra, followed Tom around the palace and obeyed Tom’s every command. She didn’t respond quite as well to anybody else but she seemed to like Kaiche and obeyed the child as well. Even when Sierra was only a cub she had followed Tommy around the palace, her little legs trying to keep up with the pace of the larger being. Sierra was Tom’s constant companion and he wouldn’t let anybody take her away.
“Hey, squirt,” Tom patted Kaiche’s head as he passed by. The child took a piece of food and threw it at Tom. He caught the piece of food easily with one hand and gave it to Sierra who ate it and licked Tom’s hand. “No thanks. I don’t care much for…whatever that was.” Tom and Kaiche were fairly close. Being the only other young person in the palace there was now somebody else to share the blame whenever something was found broken.
“Where were you last night?” Reigh asked Tom.
“Out.” Tom didn’t break step as he continued to the exit, Sierra on his heels.
“Do you have plans for tonight?” Reigh asked.
“Going out,” Tom said just before he left the room. Reigh sighed in frustration. He and Tom used to be close but over the years they had grown apart. Reigh still looked out for Tom whenever he could but he was a busy man. He heard some muffled laughter and looked at his brother who was pushing is food around his plate and trying not to laugh.
“It’s not funny,” Reigh scolded.
“Maybe not from your angle. You should sit over here,” Kail joked but Reigh remained un-amused.
“He’s going to get himself in trouble,” Reigh stated.
“He’ll be fine,” Kail assured. “He’s not stupid.”
“Neither are you and you still managed to get yourself thrown in jail twice before you got your life on track.”
“I did it though.”
“Yes, but you weren’t stealing shuttles and breaking into places.”
“He only borrowed it without permission and you can’t prove he’s broken into anywhere,” Kail defended but knew it was just technicalities he was arguing over.
“Euphemisms don’t make it any better. He’s worse than you were-”
“I was pretty bad wasn’t I?” Kail interjected thoughtfully but Reigh only glared at him and continued.
“And at this rate he’ll end up dead somewhere and not in jail.”
In his room Kail waited for his communiqué to go through. He looked over his shoulder again just to make sure nobody had walked in without him noticing. Finally the screen changed from the symbol of the Fieran Empire to the show the face of Kail’s commanding officer.
“What is it you wanted to discuss?” the man asked.
“A new addition to the corp.” Kail said.
“Tom Paris,” Kail provided the name and watched as the other man tapped a few buttons into a nearby console.
“He’s not on file.”
“That’s because he doesn’t live in the federation. He lives here.” Kail informed the officer.
“Is he related to Admiral Paris?” the man asked.
“His son, but that’s not important. He would make a good operative he just needs some guidance. Right now his talents are being used for less reputable purposes.”
“Sounds familiar,” the man said. He was aware of Kail’s history. “I’ll look into it.” The communication link was closed and the screen reverted back to the symbol of the Fieran Empire.
Kail knew what was meant by ‘look into it’. Tom would be tested and if he passed, he was in. Kail hoped that Tom was ready for this. He would only get one chance. Tom was already an excellent pilot and a bright boy though his talents went very much unnoticed by the rest of the family.
Tom’s physiology also made him a good candidate for this organization. Fieran’s are generally stronger than humans though not as strong as Vulcans. Although Tom was only half Fieran his human physiology actually enhanced the structure of the muscle tissue and made him slightly stronger than a Fieran of the same build.
Hopefully it would be enough for Tom to get in to the group and hopefully Tom would accept the offer.
Harry Kim and B’Elanna Torres walked through the corridors of deck three.
They were on their way to what they had recently discovered was Tom’s quarters. They had been busy lately and hadn’t had a chance to see him. There was also a small celebration going on in holodeck one and they were going to invite Tom to come with them.
Harry pressed the announcer and the pair didn’t have to wait long for the response. “Come in,” they heard Tom’s voice and so they entered. Tom was using his desk terminal but stood to greet them.
“We were wondering if you wanted to come with us to the party in the holodeck?” B’Elanna asked.
“No, thanks.” There was silence for a few second and Tom figure they were waiting for an explanation. “I’d rather stay here for now,” He old them and they accepted his reason.
“Okay, we’ll see you around then,” Harry said as they left. The doors slid shut behind them and the pair continued to the nearest turbolift. They were both curious about Tom. They had worked with Tom when he made his rescue attempt and transported over to his ship for a brief period during the battle they had with the Kazon.
“I heard he wasn’t staying on board,” Harry said as they entered the turbolift. Harry knew who she was thinking about because he was thinking of the same person.
“Deck six,” she ordered. “From who?” B’Elanna wondered who his source was.
“A highly credible source I see,” B’Elanna said sarcastically.
“Do you think it’s true?” Harry asked her.
“I don’t know. I hope not,” B’Elanna said.
There was another celebration happening in the palace. It was Kaiche’s fifth birthday and many dignitaries and prominent citizens had arrived at the palace to enjoy the festivity. The reception hall was moderately full with Fieran Empire citizens and from the upper level Kail watched the people mingle. He had never enjoyed these events as a child and they haven’t grown on him at all since then.
“Kail.” He turned and saw Tom standing behind him.
“Tommy, why aren’t you down there?” Kail asked as he looked back at the people.
“I think we both know the answer to that question.” He didn’t belong down there.
“So, has anything interesting happened lately?” Kail inquired.
“Not really. Somebody attacked me when I was out with the shuttle but I managed to evade them. And then the oddest thing happened. They offered me a…position.” Kail smiled knowing exactly what he was referring to. They had tested him and Tom had passed. “Elite Tactical Fleet, that’s what you’ve been up to all these years.”
Kail nodded. “I think you’ll do well in the ETF.”
“Thanks,” Tom said softly and looked down at the crowd of people.
“I guess this means you’ll be leaving the gang. I hear you’ve made quite a reputation for yourself in the ranks of the underground crime.”
Tom smirked. “Yeah, but I’ll be leaving most of that behind,” Tom said.
“I hope so, but don’t forget what you’ve learnt. It’ll help keep you breathing,” Kail warned and Tom nodded. “I’ve got to go.”
“You’re going to miss the party,” Tom said still looking down at the level below.
“This hardly qualifies as a party.”
“True. So, when will I see you again?” Tom looked at his uncle.
“Probably not for a while, but you’ll learn how to locate other operatives.” Kail told him just as Sierra joined them.
“Hello girl,” Tom said to the large feline.
“The less people know, the better, Tommy,” Kail advised.
“Got it,” Tom said looking up but Kail wasn’t there anymore. Tom looked around wondering where he had disappeared too. In the brief seconds he had looked down to greet his furry pal Kail had taken his leave. Tom smiled slightly. One day he’d know how to do that too.
Not too far away Kail observed Tom as he looked around. There was no doubt in his mind that Tom had the potential to be a great ETF operative and officer. ETF however had a history of breaking even the toughest operatives. Training was rigorous and extremely challenging and the missions were lonely and morally taxing. One thing Kail had learnt as an operative was that things could always get worse.
“Good luck Tommy,” he said as he went towards the nearest exit. “Though I doubt you’ll need it.”
Arriving on the bridge a few minutes before his shift was due to start, Tom relieved the gamma shift pilot. He wore his dark ensemble with only the Starfleet commbadge marking him as a part of the crew….for now.
End Part 2
Disclaimer: All the Star Trek characters are Paramount’s. I don’t own them (yet). ;)
Archiving: Please do, but tell me! firstname.lastname@example.org
Author’s note: This chapter will explain a lot about what happened during the months I keep referring to. And now back to my favourite genre! Action/Adventure, Alternate Universe!! Mwa-ha ha ha haaa!! J
There was hardly a distinction between Starfleet and Maquis on Voyager. They had suffered through hard times together and it had made their difference and disagreements seem unimportant. Often they were struggling to survive in poor conditions. The Kazon had not been the most generous of hosts.
As the old adage goes: ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend’ and Starfleet officers and Maquis rebels united against a common foe. With some outside intervention they had gained their freedom and the ties had remained even after their emancipation.
In another universe it would have been a rare sight –Maquis and Starfleet sitting at the same table sharing jokes and enjoying each other’s company so early in their long journey, but here it was part of the routine. Mariah Henley was seated at a table with Jennifer Delaney. The two women were discussing what had happened recently when B’Elanna Torres and Harry Kim entered to get their own lunch. Jenny waved the two over to the table and they filled the last two available seats.
The conversation at the table was light and easy. They informed each other of what was happening in their respective departments. Henley was telling them about what was happening in the navigational department when Tom walked into the mess hall. He glanced around and gave a friendly nod to Neelix before moving to the replicator to get his meal. He took a seat at a small table alone, aware of the glances in his direction but ignoring them for the time being.
“A bit of a loner,” Henley stated referring to Tom.
“So?” B’Elanna challenged coming to Tom’s defence.
Hearing the edge in B’Elanna’s voice Henley responded, “It’s just an observation. Somehow he gets dragged out here and survives and then for no gain of his own he frees us. I’m wondering what his angle is and what he’s up to.”
“I don’t know what his ‘angle’ is but I don’t think he’s planning anything,” Harry said.
“Other than leaving,” Jenny appended sadly. Tom had saved her from a group of Kazon who would have done God-knows-what to her.
“If he leaves that’s his own prerogative,” B’Elanna shrugged. It was Tom’s choice but she would miss him, as would the few people who felt owed him. He had lost almost everything he had to help them. Granted, they didn’t know much about him but from first impressions, Tom was someone they would like to get to know better but probably wouldn’t get the chance.
“I think Mr. Corrin is hiding something,” Henley said and glanced over to where Tom was sitting but he was gone. “Where the-”
“Corrin?” B’Elanna questioned. The name was familiar but she couldn’t recall where she had heard it before.
“His name is Tom Corrin?” Jenny repeated. “I think you’re mistaken.”
“Captain Janeway called him Mr. Corrin on the bridge this morning and he responded,” Henley said. B’Elanna looked at Harry who was deep in thought. The name Corrin was familiar to him as well. Oblivious to the inattentiveness of the chief engineer and head of operations Mariah and Jenny continued the conversation.
“Corrin is a Fieran name. The royal Families name actually.” Jenny, being in the stellar cartography division, was well versed in the different world and species of the Federation and surrounding areas.
“Fieran? Are they part of the Federation?” Harry inquired.
“Not exactly. An alliance was made between the Fieran Empire and the Federation by king…King….Reigh, I think it was. It only happened recently because of all the conflict in the Alpha Quadrant,” Jenny explained.
A few minutes later Harry and B’Elanna left the mess hall and headed to main engineering. There was still some work to be done and Harry had been temporarily reassigned to engineering to help out. They were silent most of the way there trying to figure out where the name Corrin was familiar from. While Jenny wasn’t B’Elanna’s favourite person on the ship the information she had just given them might be useful in figuring out Tom before he left the ship. Suddenly she remembered where she had heard the name before.
“Harry, the Mercury. That’s where we’ve heard ‘Corrin’,” B’Elanna said.
“Do you think he’s really Fieran?” Harry asked.
“We’ll have to ask him.”
His arrival in the quadrant had not been an easy one. The displacement wave battered the already weak ship and further injured the single occupant. Tom had been on his ship, Mercury, investigating the disappearance of his friend and colleague Sobey in the badlands when the ship was scanned and brought to the Delta Quadrant. Tom had lost consciousness due to the severe injuries he sustained during the trip and had no recollection of being on the array. He was beamed back to his ship in almost the same condition. Mercury drifted slowly away from the array and was discovered by a Talaxian freighter. In hopes of salvaging the parts of the ship, Mercury was towed by the freighter to the nearest port. The composition of Mercury’s hull was impermeable to the Talaxian sensors and they were unaware that the ship had a resident.
The Talaxians made several attempts to gain access to the shuttle but it was locked down and could not be opened from the outside. Even their weapons didn’t harm the ship. They had nearly given up when an unconscious form materialised in front of them. Not knowing what else to do they helped the stranger as much as they could but couldn’t do much since they had never encountered the species before. Their stranger awoke a few hours later.
Tom awoke to find two odd looking beings with whiskers and spots on the sides of their head looking down at him. He later discovered that these people were called Talaxians. He had left their infirmary immediately and returned to his ship. He had no trouble getting in and tended to the rest of his injuries as best he could. The next time he left his ship to go to the space port he was reminded in a rude manner by the freighter Captain that he owed them for saving his life.
Actually it was his ship that had saved his life. Mercury’s computer had almost been sentient before the displacement wave hit them. Unfortunately the damage to the ship’s computer was extensive and much of the memory was corrupted and Mercury’s sentience was lost. Mercury’s last act under his own free will had been beaming Tom to the spaceport to get medical attention.
And so over twenty days after his arrival in the Delta Quadrant Tom found himself here. Warnings illuminated the console but for the moment he ignored them. Tapping a few more keys in succession the rumbling ceased and engine control was restored. The sleek vessel made it past the edge of the ion storm and into regular space. Not taking to the time to sigh in relief he attended to his damaged ship. The main computer core was badly damaged and coolant was leaking into the air.
“Damn this quadrant,” Tom grunted as he tried to dislodge a fused relay.
‘Damage to- [static]- sec….secondary…’ the male voice of the computer tried to warn but the message was barely intelligible.
“….secondary command processors, I know,” He grumbled to the computer. It would take him several hours to repair all the damage to his ship. He headed to the cargo hold to make sure his merchandise was still intact. Sliding easily down the rails of the ladder he dropped to the second deck. He stepped over conduits and wires where he had been forced to rewire the ships system just to keep the engines humming and life support online.
He pressed the release for the doors to open but nothing happened. Sighing he forced the door open and was pleased to find that his cargo made it through the ion storm unharmed. “Cargo,” he scoffed, “more like garbage.” Turning he left the room, for the moment not caring that the door didn’t close behind him when he pressed the button. It was just one more thing that was falling apart on this once top off-the-line ship.
A few hours later the ship made it back to the Talaxian spaceport. Tom docked the ship and took a moment to check his own injuries before leaving. Cuts and bruises, nothing he couldn’t take care of later. Wiping away some of the blood that was trickling into his eye from the gash on the left side of his forehead he opened the air lock.
“You’re late!” A stocky little Talaxian tried to march into the Tom’s ship but was stopped before his foot could touch the metal of the floor. With a firm grip of the little man’s collar Tom pressed him against the wall.
“And you’re annoying! If you ever try to walk onto my ship without permission I’ll make sure you never walk again. Understood?”
The Talaxian nodded once after a moment of contemplation. He wasn’t afraid of the tall human, but he should be. If one second Tom decided he really didn’t like the talaxian freighter Captain, Tom could have him lying dead on the floor in by the end of the next second. The Talaxian didn’t know this however and proceeded to treat Tom like the dirt on the bottom of his shoes.
“Your garbage is still in the millions of pieces I received them in,” Tom told him.
“I’m not paying you for snide comments Mr. Paris. I saved your life after all.”
“And to this moment I regret it,” Tom mumbled.
The entrance slid opened after he gave the voice command and Tom walked into his ship with an armful of gear and small devices. He had used his payment to buy these. He would need them if his plan was going to work. The people who had seen him walking back to his ship carrying the items only laughed and ridiculed him. He added the new items to the pile and looked at his collection. To most people it looked like a pile of junk but with these Tom could create what he needed to help another group of people foreign to this quadrant.
During his first hours of consciousness in the Delta Quadrant he had heard from the freighter Captain about how he and other strangers had been brought to this quadrant by the Caretaker. He was also informed about two ships like his, but larger, which had been seen going to and leaving the Ocampan home-world. They told him that the smaller of the two ships had been destroyed and the crew was serving on Voyager along with its crew. Voyager however, was being commanded by the Kazon.
From what Tom had been told he managed to piece together what had happened. Tom had heard of Voyager before and knew it was a Starfleet ship under the command of Kathryn Janeway. They had been brought to this quadrant by the Caretaker and tested for compatibility just as he supposedly was. They went to the Ocampan home-world to retrieve some of their crewmembers who had been sent there. While they were away Tom arrived in the Delta quadrant but had been towed away by the freighter before Voyager returned.
Voyager then went back to the array to look for a way home but due to the circumstances was forced to destroy the array. During the battle with the Kazon who had claimed the array as their property, Voyager had been badly damaged and somehow the Liberty was destroyed. For whatever reason Captain Janeway could not initiate the self-destruct sequence and Voyager had been annexed by the Kazon.
It had been nearly a month since all this had occurred. Tom may have been able to help them evade the Kazon had he been with them. He was a phenomenal pilot, among other things, and his ship was armed with some of the most advance weaponry and shielding in the Alpha Quadrant but he had been unconscious for the first two days of his arrival. Hoping to help the crews of the Liberty and Voyager Tom had scouted the area where the Kazon had made their base. It was a small M-class planet with a population of a few thousand Kazon. Tom hadn’t been equipped at the time to mount a rescue –his ship had barely been running –so he went back to the Talaxian port and for the last month he had been working to pay for the parts he needed to repair his ship and attempt to get Voyager and her new crew away from the Kazon.
Seated on the floor of his ship he assembled the devices he would need to get Voyager. Scattered around him were little pieces of metal wire and little contraptions, which on their own were useless but properly assembled could be used to create havoc and confusion.
“Shit!” he cried as one of the gadgets gave him a sizeable shock. He put it on the floor and rubbed his eyes. He was tired. He hadn’t been sleeping much lately. He needed to sleep he knew that but he couldn’t afford to waste time. His routine for the past twenty-some days had been: work, take a stimulant, work, scout the Kazon base, take another stimulant and work some more. He only slept when he absolutely had to and even then it had been limited to a few short hours.
He needed to get Voyager but it was a lot for one person to do. He had asked for help from the Talaxians but they had been reluctant. Voyager was an advanced ship to them and the Kazon were an unfriendly bunch. They already knew of one of their own colleagues who had been captured while helping the Voyagers and the rest had no desire to share in their comrade’s fate.
“Em, are you there?” Tom called out.
The crackled response came ‘Hello…-unable to… please repeat….’
Tom sighed the computer was still on the fritz. ‘M’, short for Mercury, was what Tom had named the computer system. When he had first acquired this vessel he noticed the advanced system that was installed and decided to make the most of it. He created a small interactive program that could acquire and use information; it could learn. The program wasn’t perfect but over the years it improved and Tom improved on the programming until Em became like a person inside his computer, with his own ‘logical’ opinions to give whether Tom asked for them or not.
Em had been a companion for Tom during his long and fairly boring missions. The program had exceeded Tom’s expectations but in one foul swoop it had all been taken away leaving only the elementary pieces of the original voice command programming.
“I need to get you up an running.” Tom said. He planned on going after Voyager in two days but he need his ship in working order –his main priorities were the cloaking device and the main computer, all other important systems were in acceptable condition. He had already waited too long to go after them. The Kazon didn’t seem like the most welcoming of host –the longer they were with the Kazon the less likely their chances of survival were.
They walked through the corridors aware of the disrupter aimed at their backs. Whether they were Starfleet or Maquis they were all treated the same way. The group of six Starfleet officers and crewmen and four Maquis were escorted back to their holding cell in the cargo bay of the ship.
The three cargo bays had been converted into barracks for the crew to live in. The routine was mundane. They slept during their few hours of peace, woke up and were sent to work repairing the damage to the ship or working in the mines to get the materials Voyager needed. If they were lucky they were given something to eat twice a day. All the while the Kazon watched their every move.
Captain Janeway watched the group walk in and looked each one of them over for any injuries. The Kazon had a bad habit of harming those who didn’t immediately follow the orders given to them. They group that entered were in good condition and she allowed her a moment of relief. They were rarely allowed to go to sickbay unless it was a life threatening injury and even then the treatment the holographic Doctor was allowed to administer to them was minimal. Three people had already succumb to their injuries and one Maquis crewman who had attacked a Kazon was killed, Lon Suder.
Spirits were down as they had yet to find a way of freeing themselves. A few Kazon factions had joined together and they outnumber the Voyager crew twenty to one.
Janeway walked to the back corner and rejoined the group consisting of Lieutenant Tuvok, Ensign Harry Kim, Chakotay and B’Elanna Torres. They had distinguished themselves as leaders during this ordeal and they were her ‘senior staff’ even though they had no ship to command.
“They’re alright,’ Janeway said.
“We’ve got to find a way to beat them,” Torres practically snarled. Her volatile nature had gotten her in trouble a few times but it had saved her and others in other instances.
“There are just too many of them,” Harry Kim said.
“It’s been nearly a month. Our time’s running out,” Chakotay warned. “They’re learning how the ship works. They won’t need us to keep it running much longer.”
“You’re right. Repairs are almost complete.” Janeway looked around at the crew. They were all weak and tired. The Kazon may not be the most intelligent people in the quadrant but they new how to keep a group down. Not enough food, not enough rest and too much work could break anybody’s spirits. Not how Janeway expected her first command to turn out.
The doors to the Cargo bay slid open and Seska walked in. The Bajoran woman went straight to Chakotay once she spotted him. She was unharmed and of the entire crew she had adapted the best to their captivity. Tuvok suspected that she had been giving the Kazon extra information and thus they treated her better, but he could not prove his theory.
“I think they’re about ready to kill us off,” she said in a hushed tone. The other crewmembers didn’t need to hear this.
“Are you sure?” Janeway asked.
Seska nodded. “I heard some of the Majs discussing what should be done with us and none of the suggestions sounded very pleasing.” There was silence for a few moments as their minds conjured up images of what could be done to them: sold as slaves, executed, left on some god-forsaken planet… “We should try and make an alliance with them,” Seska suggested. They all looked at her in surprise. An alliance with these brutes?
“You can’t be serious,” B’Elanna said to her friend.
“What other choice do we have?”
Tom piloted Mercury in a low orbit. Voyager was landed on the planets surface but was restrained by clamps that Tom would have to weaken or destroy for Voyager to be able to take off. It was nighttime on the side of the planet where Voyager was located and with Mercury cloaked it would be impossible for the Kazon find it. Hopefully the cloaking device would continue to work. Basically, Mercury was being held together with spit and optimism.
A few hours later they were all trying to get some precious sleep when the doors slid open. A few Kazon males stood in the doorway and looked around. The bright light from the hallway woke up a few crewmembers.
They stood in the doorway and spoke to each other in low voices before moving towards a young human woman who was still asleep. “This one will do,” one of them said and he grabbed her by the arm and hauled her to her feet. The woman woke and after seeing what was happening she began to struggle. Other crewmembers got up and tried to stop them from taking her away but their efforts were in vain. The disruptors easily subdued those who tried to help the young woman. By the time the Kazon had left with the woman, everybody in the cargo bay was awake and for the rest of the night that was how they stayed.
Never before had only one person been removed from the barrack during the night. She hadn’t been taken to go work on repairs. The Kazon hoped she would provide them with other services. With the plight facing the woman nobody could sleep as uninvited images of what they could be doing to her surfaced in their minds and any one of them might be next.
She struggled and fought her captors as panic flowed through her. The group of burly Kazon only laughed and continued to drag her into some empty quarters. “Let me go!” she screamed. One Kazon backhanded her and she fell to the ground crying.
The doors to the quarters unexpectedly slid open and a tall man with a slender build stood in the entrance. “That’s no way to treat a lady,” he said. The Kazon didn’t waste anytime asking who he was. He was not one of them and therefore he was their enemy.
The woman cowered in the corner and huddled into a ball hoping that she wouldn’t be hurt. She heard the blows land and the grunts from the Kazon. Had they killed the man? What were they going to do to her? Finally the sounds stopped. She didn’t move from her position. Soft steps came closer to her until they stopped and she could feel his presence near her.
Gently he placed a hand on her shoulder but removed it when she flinched.
“I’m not going to hurt you,” he assured her in a soft voice.
Pulling her hands away from her face and opening her eyes she saw the man dressed in dark clothing crouched in front of her. She moved away from him. “Who are you?” she asked in a small voice. Over his eyes was a visor made of translucent polymer but it was too dark for her to see his eyes through.
Tom showed her his hands to indicate he didn’t have any weapons and reached up to remove the headgear he wore. The hard material of the headgear went around his head and on it had transmitters and an uplink to his computer. The front had a visor that covered his eye and the right side had an earpiece that allowed him to hear transmission and a microphone so that he could communicate without having to hold anything.
“I need your help,” he told her. He stood and offered her a hand to help her up.
“Who are you? How did you escape?” she asked her questions rapidly but Tom couldn’t take the time to answer. He took out and strange looking piece of equipment and handed it to her.
“Take this with you back to the cargo bay and place it on the wall next to the control panel that opens the doors. Once it’s securely mounted don’t touch it again or you’ll get a nasty shock. Do you understand?” She nodded her head vigorously. “Go to your Captain and tell her to get the crew ready.” Tom pulled out a standard phaser. She took a step back. He held it out to her. “You’ll need this.”
Carefully she took the phaser from him. They went to the exit stepping over the unconscious Kazon men. After he checked that the area was clear they stepped out of the room. Tom put on the headgear and went left. To get to the cargo bays the woman had to go right. The blonde man left without a look back and she watched him go for a few seconds until she realised she too should be on her way.
“Jenny, are you alright?” Meagan, her twin sister asked her when she walked in. She didn’t have any marks on her and she seemed all right if a little perturbed.
“I’m fine,” she looked around for the Captain and saw the older woman coming towards her to see if she was all right. “Captain, there’s a man loose on the ship. I think he’s going to try and free us,” she said quickly.
“Who?” The Captain inquired as to the man’s identity.
“I don’t know. I didn’t recognize him.”
“What did he look like?” Janeway asked the flustered officer.
“He was….about this tall,” she raised her hand to a height a few centimetres taller than Tuvok, “and he had blonde hair and blue eyes.”
“Was he human?” Ensign Kim asked. Jenny nodded the affirmative.
“Somebody you know?” Janeway asked Harry but he shook his head. “Does anybody know who this person could be?” Nobody spoke up. There were no blue-eyed blondes of that height on board.
End Part 3
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Disclaimer: All the Star Trek characters are Paramount’s. I don’t own them (yet). ;)
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Author’s note: The conclusion to what happened during the escape. And now back to my favourite genre! Action/Adventure, Alternate Universe!! Mwa-ha ha ha haaa!! J
Carefully he wove through the corridors of the ship. A small light on the screen in his visor blinked green indicating that the woman had placed his gadget in the right place and it was active. He knew all the crewmembers were in the cargo bays. He had hacked his way into Voyager’s computer from Mercury and had made and internal sensor sweep. Only the woman he had helped had been out of the cargo bays.
He was heading to the bridge now. From there he could control just about anything. He had contemplated going to main engineering but after seeing the lay out he had determined that there were too many points of entry for him to block off before reinforcements came so he chose the bridge instead.
While he was in the turbolift he contacted Mercury and instructed the computer to upload the virus he created. Another green light flashed indicating that the deed had been done.
On the bridge of Voyager the Kazon looked over the systems in the ship and ran diagnostics as they familiarized themselves with Voyager’s systems. Maj Cullah and Jabin were in the Captain’s Ready Room discussing the fate of their prisoners when for no apparent reason the lights went out. Jabin and Cullah immediately went for the exit but found they were all locked down.
On the bridge the other Kazon were confused. The only lighting was provided by the buttons on the consoles. As they stumbled around blindly they were unaware of the extra being on the bridge who was taking them out one by one, silently.
With the night vision on his visor he could easily see the Kazon forms as the moved in the darkness. With expert ease and efficiency he took down each one, sometimes using as little as a Vulcan neck pinch.
A minute later the lights came back on as Voyager’s computer system corrected the error and functions were returned to normal, almost. The bridge remained locked down and only Tom could unlock them. The minute of darkness had been more than enough for him to gain control of the bridge. Moving to the operations console he transported the unconscious Kazon officers to the brig and erected a force-field to keep them there.
He had to get the Kazon off of Voyager or at least in a place where they can be easily managed. The brig wouldn’t be able to hold all of them. If he beamed them outside to the planet they’d inform the others that something was occurring on Voyager and would bring back up.
Tom settled for relocating as many as he could to the brig and transporting the rest of them to the mess hall. It wasn’t the most secure of locations but hopefully it would hold them long enough for the Starfleet officers to be reorganized and able to contain the Kazon.
Due to some damages the capacity of the transporters was limited and he could only transport eight people at a time using each transporter system. The Kazon that were still on the loose were a hazard but Tom doubted they would be able to hamper his plans too much. His main concern had been that they would go after the Voyager crew that was locked in the cargo bays.
The device he had given the woman to place on the door controls had locked down all entrances and exited to the cargo bays and erected force-fields to repel weapons fire should any Kazon try to go after the crew.
A few minutes later all transports had been completed. Tom sent an encrypted command to the device at the cargo bay and it ceased functioning, unlocking the doors and terminating the force-field.
In the cargo bay the crew was lost in the dark bumping into each other and any other object in the large rooms. At the entrances crewmembers worked to try an open the doors. Jennifer Delaney had told them everything she knew about the stranger but nobody knew his identity.
The lights came on again and they all wondered what was going on. Torres and Kim continued their work on opening the door along with Carey but they hadn’t made any progress. Unexpectedly, the doors slid open allowing them to exit the room. Captain Janeway looked at the three people who had been working on opening the door.
“Good work,” she commended them. Torres, Kim and Carey looked at one another in confusion.
“We didn’t do anything,” Carey said.
They all came to the conclusion that it was their mysterious stranger who had released them. Each person exited the cargo bay heading to their respective positions. They were going to assume that there were still armed Kazon on board. Torres and Carey went to main engineering while Kim, Chakotay, Tuvok, Janeway and a few other bridge officers went to the bridge.
They arrived on the bridge and saw the man matching Ensign Delaney’s description standing as he tapped some commands into the helm console. He wore a dark grey suit with pockets in many places and the knees and elbows of the suit had extra padding on it. The material looked fairly thick but did not hamper his movement t at all. He also had on gloves. The palms had a thin material to protect his hands but not reduce his sense of touch while the backside of the gloves were thicker.
Knowing that Janeway and her crew would come to the bridge Tom had unlocked the exit before their arrival. When he finished entering the string of commands he turned to face the newcomers.
He looked at each of them and they scrutinized him as well. His gaze rested on the Captain. “Captain Janeway, I presume.”
“Yes. And you are?”
“Tom,” was the simple reply. “Approximately sixty-five Kazon are locked in the mess hall and the brig. Security team should be sent to each location. If any doors or systems are locked down the words ‘Gamma phi’ will open them up.”
“Tuvok,” Janeway looked at her friend and he nodded to her unspoken order and headed for the trubolift.
“There are clamps restraining the landing strut of your ship and I’ll need two good engineers to help me unlock them.”
“I’ll go Captain,” Harry volunteered.
Janeway nodded. “Get Torres to go with you,” Janeway ordered. They would have commed B’Elanna to tell her but one of the first things the Kazon had done when they had gained control of the ship was to take their commbadges. Without a word of acknowledgement Tom headed over to Ensign Kim.
“Where do we find Torres?” Tom asked the young Ensign.
“Main Engineering. I’ll show you,” Harry started but Tom stopped him with a hand on his shoulder.
“I’ve got it,” Tom said as he tapped a few buttons onto his wrist computer and they vanished in a shimmering swirl of blue particles. Janeway and Chakotay looked at each other briefly before helping secure the ship.
The pair materialized near the main entrance of engineering. The crew was scrambling around securing the ship’s systems. Few people had noticed their appearance, as they were preoccupied with their tasks. “Torres,” Tom yelled looking for the person who responded to the name. Many people looked over at him but he was generally ignored by the busy engineers.
“What do you want?” a half-klingon, half-human woman asked as she walked quickly over to them.
“Your help. Two of the four landing struts have been secured to the ground using clamps.” He proceeded to list the tools they would need to undo them. Voyager’s phasers were not precise enough to destroy the clamps without damaging the struts, and Mercury couldn’t get a clear lock on the struts from its altitude. They would have to do this the old fashioned way.
After a minute they had acquired the tools they would need. “Mercury,” he said into the microphone “transport to the following co-ordinates.” He tapped a few buttons into the wrist computer and a moment later the trio vanished and reappeared on the surface of the planet. They were underneath Voyager in between the two forward landing struts. Tom tapped two more keys on his miniature computer and an instant later a few devices appeared at their feet.
Picking one up he showed them how they worked. “Place them this way on the joints of the clamps.” He pressed on button and a click was heard. “That will lock it in place.” He pressed a small red button. “Armed.” He pressed a grey button. “Now it can’t be removed disarmed and in ten second will erect a force-field unless the coded is inputted to disarm it.” He quickly pressed a few buttons in sequence and another click was heard as the bomb was disarmed. He continued to give them a crash course on sabotaging the clamps and then sent the two to the left clamp while he went to the right.
Usually he would have own this on his own but there wasn’t enough time. In the few times he had scouted the area he knew there were security patrols that came by every few minutes and there were random transmissions to Voyager from the ground center to inquire as to the status of the ship. Tom hoped they had decided to wait longer than usual to send a transmission but lady luck wasn’t around tonight.
At the ops console the light blinked indicating that they were receiving a transmission. The officer at the console informed the Captain and after a few seconds was able to identify it as a transmission from the Kazon.
“Ignore it for now,” Janeway ordered. They need more time to make their escape.
Underneath Voyager the three people were nearly finished with the restraints when a warning blinked on Tom’s visor. Arming the last device he looked around trying to discern what had set off the warning. Information from the sensors was fed directly into the visor.
As he turned three circles enclosed around some slight motion a few kilometers away. It was too dark for Tom to see what exactly it was but as more information was displayed on the screen he knew what was coming. Another warning flashed on the screen and Tom turned his attention in another direction. Eight life-forms registered and were approaching quickly.
“Company,” he said to himself and just then weapons fire sliced through the air near them. The three hid behind the struts shielding themselves. Tom glanced quickly around the side and fired a few shots hoping to take down some of the Kazon or at least slow them. He went behind the struts again and prepared for his run. He had to find out if they had completed sabotaging the restraints.
Tom started running towards Torres and Kim. He fired at the Kazon while he ran protecting himself as best he could. A few shots still hit their mark but Tom made it over to them. “Are you done?” He asked when he arrived next to them. Torres looked at Tom hoping he wasn’t injured too badly.
“No, there are still two of them that need to be armed,” she told him.
Tom pulled out two weapons and handed them to Harry and B’Elanna. “Cover me.” He darted around to the other side of the ship where the unarmed explosives were located. His back was an open target for the Kazon but he had to do this. He armed one and then pressed the gray button and then armed the other and pressed the gray button on it as well. Mission complete but just as he was moving around to shield himself using the support he was hit twice once in the back and once in the leg.
The material of the suit on his back held against the weapon and only caused minor injury but where he was shot on the leg had already been weakened from an earlier blast that he had taken and the damage to his leg was more serious. Once he was safely to the other side he went back to work. Torres and Kim used the weapons they were given defend themselves against the attack.
“We need to get out of here,” Harry said.
“I’m working on it.” Tom’s voice was calm and controlled. He had been in worse situations than this before. “Voyager, we need a beam out,” Tom said as he tapped a button at the side of his headgear. There was no response and suddenly the large ship over them rocked slightly and the sound of an explosion rang in their ears. “Their go transporters.”
Tom stopped pressing buttons on his computer and soon after the three found themselves inside another ship.
“Where-” Before Harry could finish the question Tom spoke.
“Welcome to Mercury. Don’t touch anything, please.” Harry and B’Elanna glanced at each other before looking back at Tom.
“Em, drop the cloak.” Tom ordered and a moment later Mercury appeared on the sensors of Voyager and the Kazon. A few of the Kazon ships heading towards Voyager broke formation and started towards Mercury. With a few precisions shots Tom took out their weapons and engines.
“Captain, a ship just de-cloaked in low orbit,” Chakotay informed her from the helm.
“Friend or foe?” she asked. On the sensors Chakotay watched as the ship fired on the Kazon vessels that engaged it.
Just then a low rumbling was felt throughout the ship. “What was that?” Janeway asked.
“Looks like explosives have just detonated on the landing struts,” Ayala said from the tactical station.
“We’re being hailed by the small ship,” the ops officer said, “audio only.”
“Captain, the restraints have been destroyed you should be able to take off now,” Tom said over the commline.
“Understood.” The commline closed. “Transport the Kazon off the ship and go to code blue,” The captain ordered and the bridge was basked in blue light. A few moments later Ayala reported that all stations were at code blue status. The Maquis crewmembers were also familiar with Voyager’s systems and much of the protocol and knew what they had to do in this situation.
The Mercury provided cover while Voyager started its ascent form the planet. Voyager was very vulnerable, as it could not manoeuvre very well during the beginning of its ascent. Tom piloted the Mercury and delivered damaging blows on the Kazon vessels. On sensors he saw that there were larger Kazon vessels approaching but Voyager would be out of orbit by the time they were here.
B’Elanna and Harry watched the sensors, checking on Voyager’s status. The intrepid class vessel had made it out of the planets atmosphere but the Kazon vessels were in hot pursuit. Tom brought Mercury behind voyager shielding the ship as best he could from further damage. The shuttle vibrated as weapon’s fire damaged the ship. Mercury’s hull and shielding was holding up against the abuse but finally the shields failed and the ship lurched violently to one side.
“Torres, Kim stand by for transport,” Tom said hurriedly.
“Corrin, life support is failing,’ the ship announced just as the two Voyager crewmembers were transported from the ship.
“Em, you’re back,” Tom said absently as he punched commands in the main console.
“Much of my program had been damaged but three of eleven back up files have been r-re-re….’
“Restored,” Tom finished. It would take him weeks to reprogram the computer to get Em back to the way it was before the displacement wave had hit.
‘Life support is failing,’ Em told him again.
“I know but I need to make sure they get out of here,” he said again referring to Voyager and her crew.
“Captain the systems on the other ship are failing,” the crewman and ops said. Just then Torres and Kim appeared on the bridge. After a momentary pause the went to their respective stations
“Ensign, does the ship have warp?” Janeway asked Harry.
“No, the core’s unstable.”
“He’s responding, audio only.” Harry routed the transmission to the bridge.
“Yes?” was the greeting. He was obviously busy trying to keep his ship together.
“Move your vessel closer and we’ll look onto it with a tractor beam,”
“You can’t,” Tom plainly informed her. The planes of the hull were designed to reflect most tractor beams. Right now he didn’t have the time to tell them how to make the modifications necessary for the tractor beam to work on his ship.
More alarms were heard from Tom’s ship over the commline.
‘Extensive damage –core breach imminent,’ they heard the computer announce. Another direct hit further compromised the vessel causing explosions from many on the console in the ship including the central one where Tom was seated. Hearing the explosions Janeway called his name hoping to get some response but there was nothing.
‘Emergency transport,’ the computer on the Mercury announced and a moment later Tom materialised on Deck two of Voyager in the mess hall.
“He’s on deck two,” Harry announced. A chirp was heard as the transmission to the Mercury was ended by its computer but there was still an uplink between the two ships. Harry watched in confusion as several quads of encrypted information was transmitted to the Voyager’s computer. The link was terminated when all the information was sent. Mercury turned around and headed toward the pursuing Kazon vessels.
If the ship was going to explode then it would take as many Kazon vessels with it as possible. Understanding what the ship was doing, Captain Janeway ordered Chakotay to take them to warp. They watched silently as the other ship exploded just before they went to warp. Voyager easily out ran the Kazon vessels and finally after nearly a month as the prisoners of the Kazon they were free.
On Deck two Tom was trying to get up when another pair of hands helped him up. The man was Talaxian and Tom thanked him for his help before walking out of the mess hall with a slight limp.
He made his way to the bridge. Stepping into the turbo lift he called out his destination and in the few seconds alone he took deep breaths trying to steady himself. The pain in his side and his leg were hard to ignore but his job wasn’t done yet. This sector was crawling with Kazon vessels; some allied, others were not but all were looking to take Voyager as their prize. He would show them were to go and help them cover their tracks and then he’d leave.
Stepping off the turbolift he arrived on the bridge. The officers were busy with repairs and evading the Kazon. He walked down to the middle level where Captain Janeway stood still giving orders to her newly liberated crew.
“Are you alright?” she asked when she saw him. Tom nodded and went to the helm.
“Take this route.” He indicted the path that was best. Chakotay looked at the man next to him. He had met him before but he couldn’t quite remember from where.
Over the next several hours the crew worked on repairs while Tom helped them disguise their warp and ion trail so that the Kazon would not be able to track them easily. He worked alone, only occasionally going to ask were he could access certain systems.
The crew organized and it was quickly decided that they should be a Starfleet crew. There were no arguments voiced and in a matter of hours everybody on board other than Neelix, Kes and Tom had donned the Starfleet uniforms.
When Tom had completed his work he went to bridge to make sure the interface with the bridge systems was working. Voyager was still unfamiliar to him and he had to be sure he hadn’t compromised any key systems with his tinkering. Everything seemed to be working in proper order when he arrived on the bridge. Well almost everything. Tom’s body was at the end of its rope. He had been awake for over two days; surviving on mostly stimulants for the first hours but during the last day he hadn’t taken any seeing as nearly everything he owned had been destroyed on Mercury.
He felt dizzy and tired but he forced himself to continue. They were still deep in Kazon space. He wouldn’t let them get caught now that they were finally free. There was no way he’d could do this all again, and without the aid of Mercury.
“Corrin,” he heard somebody address him and he looked over. Had he been thinking properly he would have realized he shouldn’t have responded to that name. He didn’t want these people to know either of his surnames just yet. Not until he knew how much they were aware of. But unfortunately for him his mind was a little sluggish and he faced the person who had addressed him, Chakotay. Chakotay had remembered where he knew Tom from and recalled the name that Sobey had used to address him. He had called the name to see if Tom would respond and he had.
“Are you alright?” Chakotay asked. Tom started to nod his head but stopped when a dizzy spell hit him. Holding onto the railing he stayed on his feet. Chakotay looked at the young man and noted his condition, his fair skin was too pale and there was a think film of perspiration on the man forehead. He must be injured, Chakotay thought.
“I’m….fine,” Tom lied. He closed his eyes and tried to force his dizzy spell to pass. Instead it only worsened and with his concentration broken he could no longer block the pain from his injuries, old an new.
He didn’t realize he had started to collapse until he felt Chakotay’s arms helping him keep his balance. “You need to go Sickbay.”
“I’m okay. I have to finish…”
“You can finish it later.” Tom turned his head and saw Janeway coming over to them. Chakotay removed his arms from around Tom when he had regained his balance. Chakotay felt wetness on his fingers and looked at his hand. Blood, the side of his suit was soaked in it.
“You need to go to sickbay,” Chakotay stated looking at Tom. There had to be quite a bit of bleed for it to cover his had so much and it must have been quite a blast to damage the durable material of Tom’s attire, who knows what other wound was being concealed.
“Ensign, lock onto Tom and transport him to Sickbay,” The captain instructed. Harry nodded.
“Chakotay,” Chakotay looked into Tom’s eyes. “Sobey didn’t make it, did he?” it sounded more like a statement but Chakotay nodded the affirmative. Tom looked down. He had waited too long. He was too late. He hadn’t done enough.
Chakotay didn’t know how close Tom and Sobey were but he could tell that Tom was blaming himself for something. “He didn’t survive the trip to the Delta Quadrant,” Chakotay said hoping to alleviate some of the guilt Tom was feeling, though he didn’t understand the cause of it.
Tom looked up into the dark eyes of the new first officer and looked away. “I failed him,” he said quietly just before he vanished in a transporter beam.
End Part 4
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Disclaimer: All the Star Trek characters are Paramount’s. I don’t own them (yet). ;)
Archiving: Please do, but tell me! firstname.lastname@example.org
Author’s note: And now back to my favourite genre! Action/Adventure, Alternate Universe!! Mwa-ha ha ha haaa!!
Alpha shift had just ended and the tired officers and crewmen were ready to leave their posts. On the bridge Culhane, the beta shift pilot relieved Tom. After outlining the status of the ship and logging out of the helm console Tom gave up his seat to the Ensign and walked towards the turbolift.
It had been nearly twenty-four hours since his near collapse on the bridge and subsequent visit to the EMH. What an attitude on that hologram, Tom thought absently. He had yet to visit the Doctor today for his therapy and whatnot. He had been putting it off.
He entered the turbolift and called for his deck. The doors stayed open for a moment allowing Lieutenant Tuvok to join him. Tom gave him a brief nod and they rode to their respective decks in silence. The doors opened to deck four a few seconds later.
“Mr. Corrin,” Tuvok excused himself as he left the turboift. A few moments later the doors opened again and Tom disembarked. He walked down the corridors, made a right and then a left and arrived at his destination: stellar cartography.
He needed to find a space station or civilization where he could acquire his own ship and leave Voyager. Walking in he saw the science officers hard at work. One of the Ensigns Delaney was working at a console entering some data and Tom approached her to ask to use one of the consoles to look through their star charts. He knew the names of only a few crewmembers but knew of the Delaneys because Jennifer had thanked him earlier for helping her.
“Ensign Delaney,” Tom addressed the woman and she turned to face him.
She paused momentarily when she saw him but found her voice quickly. “How can I help you, Mr….”
“Tom,” he provided. “I was hoping to look through some of the star charts. Would that be alright?” He was polite and had his sky-blue gaze locked to her chocolate one.
“Uh…” she was a little slow in responding. “Yeah sure.” She broke the eye contact and looked over to a console that wasn’t in use. “You can use that one.”
“Thank you, Meagan,” he said and headed towards the console. Meagan Delaney watched him go, wondering how he could tell the difference between her and her twin sister Jenny. She smirked and went back to work.
Tom was working quietly at the console for nearly half an hour before Meagan approached him again. He saw her coming out of the corner of his eye and turned towards her.
“Do you need any help?” she inquired.
“No, thanks.” He said and went back to work. She looked at the chart displayed on the console.
“What are you looking for? If you don’t mind me asking.”
He glanced at her briefly before stepping back and allowing her to see what he was doing. “A station or civilization where I can get a ship.”
“You’re not staying?” she said sounding slightly disappointed.
“No. I hoping to get my own ship,” he informed her.
“You could ask the Captain for one of our shuttles,” she told him.
“Class two shuttles,” Tom raised and eyebrow. “No, thank you.” The disgust in his voice made her laugh.
“You don’t have to go. You could stay on Voyager.” She hoped he would reconsider. She could tell he was about to refuse the offer so she interrupted. “Just think about it.” With that she strolled away. Tom watched her go for a second before returning his attention to the console.
A few minutes later Tom left the room. Meagan watched him go. They were still eight days away from the nearest viable place he could get a ship of his own. Hopefully in that time he would change his mind. The door slid closed after his departure and a slight smile returned to Meagan’s face. He was very handsome and she wanted to know what secrets lurked behind those cerulean eyes.
“EMH to Tom,” the doctor’s voice sounded. He had just left stellar cartography and hadn’t taken five steps when the doctor called.
“Have you forgotten about your appointment in sickbay?”
“No,” he sighed. “I’m on my way.” He closed the link and adjusted his course to take him to the nearest turbolift.
“Tom,” was the unenthusiastic salutation Tom received when he entered sickbay.
“Emergency Medical Hologram,” Tom responded in the same tone. The EMH really needed to get a name.
“How is your leg today?”
The EMH scanned him with a tricorder and nodded his head. “You are not fine but you will be with my excellent treatment,” the Doctor boasted. Tom only rolled his eyes a gesture the hologram didn’t miss. “Have you been experiencing any pain?
“Yes,” Tom answered.
“I told you to contact me if you felt any discomfort,” the Doctor huffed, somewhat upset that his patient had disregarded his words.
“I can handle it,” Tom said and shrugged.
The Doctor pressed a hypospray to Tom’s neck a Tom felt the pain in his leg fade until it was only a dull ache. “When you are in pain, Mr. Corrin, it’s usually an indication that something is wrong and thus I should be informed,” The doctor lectured.
“Fine. The next time it hurts I’ll call you,” Tom said with a bit of an evil smirk. The Doctor hadn’t been online for a long time but knew when he was being humoured. “May I go now?” Tom asked, getting off the biobed.
“No, you may not,” the Doctor denied. Tom sat himself on the bed again while the doctor walked away to get his instruments mumbling something about uncooperative patients. Tom smiled. Em would have liked this guy.
The next morning the senior staff assembled in the conference room for their meeting. Ensign Kim and Lieutenant Torres gave status reports pertaining to the status of the ship and final repairs. Repairs were almost complete and the ship was running at eighty-four percent efficiency. After just being liberated from the grips of the Kazon, eighty-four percent efficiency was pretty good.
Ensign Baytart, the new head of the navigational department, reported that they were following the course Tom had given them. Tom. The Captain and Commander noted that was how everybody addressed him. They both wondered why Tom hadn’t told anybody his last name. Not that it particularly mattered but it raised more questions in their mind about what Tom could be keeping from them.
Just as Mr. Baytart was concluding the Doctor commed the Captain and asked them to activate the medical channel. Ensign Kim walked to the console on the wall and inputted the proper commands to display the holo-doctor.
“I wasn’t informed there was a meeting this morning,” the doctor stated but before anybody could speak he continued. “As the chief medical officer, I should be included in the senior staff meetings.”
“We’ll inform you the next time a meeting is held,” Captain Janeway said to appease the angered hologram. “Is their anything you need to report?”
“No, however, I need all the new crewmembers to report to sickbay so I can start a medical file for them and take a blood sample. I would also appreciate having some assistance. I may be a hologram but there is only one of me on this ship.”
“We’ll assign some crewmembers to sickbay and you can start training them as medical assistants,” The Captain said. The doctor agreed and closed the channel.
“Is their anything else?” The Captain asked the rest of the group.
“Yes,” Chakotay spoke up, “Tom has requested that he be dropped off at a planet that we’ll be passing in about a week.” He handed the captain a padd with the planets specs on it. She glanced at it briefly.
“Anything else?” there was no response so she dismissed the group. Everybody except Tuvok left and Janeway waited for the other officers to file out before addressing Tuvok.
“I have examined the device which Ensign Delaney placed outside the cargo bay when…Tom,” the Captain knew it was strange for Tuvok, being Vulcan to use anybody’s first name and tried to keep the slight smile from forming on her face, “liberated the crew.”
“And the manipulation of the internal components and of functions was ingenious. It is clearly evident that it was assembled by hand as none of the components are of the same make. It would require a highly trained individual to create such a device.”
Elsewhere in the delta quadrant, not to far from Voyager’s location, Kazon vessels that had seen better days surrounded a talxian freighter. Inside the freighter the captain and crew put on brave faces but there was no mistaking the signs of fear displayed by all of them: the slight tremors in their hands, the stuttering when they spoke, the beads of sweat rolling down their foreheads.
“I was informed that you were in contact with a human not of the Voyager crew. The one we believe took away what was rightfully ours,” the Kazon male said as he strode form one side of the room to the other. There were five other armed Kazon on the bridge and the three smaller Talaxians didn’t make even the slightest movement knowing that if they did it would be their last.
They were lucky though. Usually Kazon would take the cargo of Talaxian freighters and leave the badly damaged ship floating in space with little regard for the crew. The fact that the Talaxian crew and the freighter were relatively unharmed was a good sign. Maybe they would escape this encounter with their lives, if they cooperated.
“What information do you have on this human? What does he look like? What are his plans? Where does he like to visit? What does he like to eat?”
“I don’t know,” the freighter captain said.
“Don’t toy with me! I have three ships out there ready to destroy this crate at my command!” The Maj yelled angrily and the freighter Captain took a step back. “I want every piece of information you have on him.” The freighter Captain trembled before the larger, more powerful being and Cullah knew he would get what he wanted. He would get his revenge on the human and take Voyager as his trophy.
“I don’t think we should be doing this,” Jonas whispered to Seska as the set up the transmitter.
“This isn’t the time for second thoughts,” Seska said harshly. She calmed when she noticed the conflict reflected on Jonas’ face and released an impatient sigh. “You’re doing the right thing.” She reassured him. She would play on Michael Jonas’ feeling of loyalty and misguide him. She had no doubt that it would be easier to persuade him had they not suffered for so long at the hands of the Kazon. “After what happened a few days ago the Kazon will no doubt be seeking revenge. We need to help keep the ship safe. If it means going behind the Captain’s back and striking a deal with them, I think that it’s worth it.”
“…are a powerful group. A piece of technology here and there is a small price to pay for the safety of our friends.” Seska watched Jonas carefully as he struggled accept her reason but eventually he did. Seska smiled and they went back to work.
“You again,” Maj Cullah’s angry visage filled the screen.
“I want to make a deal.”
“I don’t want to make another ‘deal’ with you,” he spat. “I want vengeance on the one who caused so much damage to my vessels!”
“And I can help you get him!” That caught Cullah’s attention and he listened to what the treacherous woman had to say.
“I’ll help you but then you have to help me.”
“You get me Tom Paris and we have a deal.”
The Next day in sickbay crewmembers filed in and out, reporting to for their physicals as ordered. There were a few science officers with a biology backgrounds helping out as was Kes. She had expressed and interest in medicine and the Doctor had agreed to train her as a nurse.
She was helping the Doctor with the blood samples. The Doctor had explained to her what steps to take to properly conduct the tests and scans and she had caught on quickly, pleasing the Doctor, even though he didn’t say anything.
Kes came across Tom’s blood sample and without a second thought started the tests. She had already done several and most of them were done on human blood samples so she knew what to expect but Tom’s results didn’t match those ones. She checked the procedure to make sure he hadn’t made an error. She hadn’t so she continued and tried to determine why there was a discrepancy. She found it.
The genetic material she found in the white blood cells was only half human. The other half was of a species hadn’t heard of before: Fieran.
“Doctor,” Kes called still looking at her results. “Did you know Tom was only half human?” she asked.
“Yes, it was one of the first things I noticed when I first met him,” the Doctor said. He looked at Kes’ results and tapped a few commands into the console.
“What did you do?” Kes asked.
“Since ‘Tom’ didn’t feel like providing us with his surname, I’m having the computer run a genome check. Hopefully we’ll be able to match it to a family line,” The Doctor explained.
“You have every family’s genome on file?” Kes wondered.
“No. Mostly just that of dignitaries and high ranking officers in the federation. There have been many instances in Starfleet where enemies will impersonate powerful people, so to reduce that threat all Starfleet vessels are provided with a database to identify these people if need be. It’s not likely that this search will produce any results since it only contains the codes of a small sample,” he started to walk away, ”but I wouldn’t be much of a physician if I didn’t consider all possibilities.”
Paris, Tom is what she entered as he search query but there was only one result and it didn’t have much information. The son of Admiral Paris, and a few notes about his birth –nothing she could use to confirm that Tom Corrin was Tom Paris. She noticed that their were no comments about Tom’s mother in the file and wondered why that was. Even more strange was that Starfleet brats usually had their entire lives on file but here was next to nothing on this one? Where did he disappear to?
Morning rolled around on Voyager and the mess hall was once again filled with crewmembers. Seska walked in a spotted Commander Chakotay eating alone at a table for two and decided to join her old flame. Truth be told, Seska still had a thing for the Maquis captain but their relationship had ended some time ago.
“Seska,” Chakotay greeted her warmly. “How are you?” Just because they weren’t dating doesn’t mean they weren’t friends.
“As well as can be expected,” she said as she took the seat opposite him. “I here our rescuer is leaving,” she said. Chakotay and the Captain knew the most about Corrin. If he was the son of Admiral Paris then they probably knew. “I can’t say I’ll be sad to see Mr.Paris go.” She deliberately used ‘Paris’ to see what Chakotay’s reaction would be.
“Mr. Paris? You mean Mr. Corrin,” he corrected.
“Are you sure?”
There was a hesitation before he responded. Tom had never actually said his name was Corrin but he responded to it. “Not entirely.” He eyed Seska carefully. “Why do you think he’s Paris?”
“Oh, just something I stumbled across when I was….talking to some people.”
“Who?” Chakotay was curious.
“Look, I’ve got to go. Don’t want to be late for my shift.” She stood and flashed him a seductive smile before leaving.
The bridge was quiet. Nothing had happened lately and they were all thankful for the break it provided. There was still some slight uneasiness among the crew. Somewhere out there were the Kazon. There former captors but and now most dangerous enemy.
“Captain, A vessel is approaching,” Ensign Baytart alerted. The rest the bridge crew listened carefully for the identity of the ship. If it was Kazon then they were in trouble. “I believe it’s talaxian,” he said and a few crewmembers could be heard sighing in relief.
“Hail them,” the Captain ordered. A few minutes later the screen changed to show the inside of a fairly large freighter. The man on the screen was Talaxian.
“I’m Captain Kathryn Janeway of the Federation-”
“Voyager. I know who you are,” the man interrupted impatiently. “I was hoping you’d be interested in trading some of your weapons.”
“I afraid we don’t trade weapons,” Janeway said.
“Oh,” he was a little crestfallen but perked back up a moment later. “Perhaps we could discuss other items you’d be willing to part with. Germanium or galacite or possibly some molybdenum.”
Janeway gave a slight smile as she responded, “We’ll transport you over in a few moments.” Molybdenum was an element they an abundance of. Hopefully the Talaxian would have something they could use as well.
“Your vessel is remarkable,” the Talaxian gushed as he was escorted through the corridors. Tuvok was at his side and another security officer was behind them. “I guess Paris was successful in freeing you. Good for him!”
“Paris?” Tuvok questioned the name.
“Yes, he’s the one I heard about your ship from. I worked with him on a few missions. Those parts he wanted, they weren’t cheap. How did you repay him?” the Talaxian blurted it all out quickly.
“I have not met anyone by the name of Paris,” Tuvok said stoically while they waited for a turbolift.
“You must have seen him. He’s hard to miss. Very tall.” The Talaxian reached up trying to indicate Paris’ height. “Well you get the idea. And he had blonde hair and was fairly pale looking,” the Talaxian described.
They arrived at the conference room. Waiting for the Talaxian trader to arrive was Captain Janeway, Chakotay, Neelix and Tom since he knew quite a bit about this area of the Delta Quadrant and would be able to help them.
“Paris!” the traders exclaimed and went directly to Tom. “Good to see that you’re still alive; that means I won the bet.” The trader smiled and rubbed his hands together in anticipation of his winning.
“You again,” Tom said, the tone of his voice revealing his displeasure.
“You don’t sound very happy to see me,” the Talaxian stated sounding offended.
“Why should I be? On my last run with you I was left dead in the water with an ion storm coming my way while you sped away to safety.” Tom stood directly in front of the smaller man and looked down at him. “So, why should I be happy to see you?”
The Talaxian stepped away and turned to Captain Janeway to start the trade negotiations ignoring Tom.
The meeting wrapped up quickly since the trader didn’t have very many things Voyager needed. They did manage to acquire some star charts however. Tuvok, a security officer and Tom escorted the trader back to the transport room. Tom was going at the Talaxian trader’s insistence. He supposedly wanted to explain to Tom what had happened on that mission when they were ‘separated’ while Janeway, Chakotay and Neelix finished up.
“Thank you for your help Mr. Neelix,” Captain Janeway said and Neelix left the room glad that he was able to help his friends. Chakotay and Janeway waited until Neelix had left before they discussed what had been on both their minds during the negotiations.
“I thought you said his name was Tom Corrin,” Janeway said to her second in command.
“That’s what he went by when he came to the Liberty. I knew he may have a different name, his friend Sobey had another name as well.” He looked at Janeway and noticed her pensive expression. “Does the name Tom Paris mean anything to you?” he asked.
“Captain Paris was my commanding officer when I was an Ensign. He was the one who convinced me to take the command track.” She said still deep in thought. “He had a son though.”
“You think Tom is his son?”
“Maybe. I met Tommy once….” The Tom that just walked out a few minutes ago couldn’t possibly be the one she had met so many years ago, could it? But that would explain why Tom’s appearance was familiar to her wouldn’t it?
“So Captain Paris had a son…” Chakotay pressed further wondering what else she knew.
“Yes but he and his mother left earth over twenty years ago. Mrs. Paris and my mother were friends….” She trailed off remembering one time when she gone home during leave….
End Part 5
Disclaimer: All the Star Trek characters are Paramount’s. I don’t own them (yet). ;)
Archiving: Please do, but tell me! email@example.com
Author’s note: And now back to my favourite genre! Action/Adventure, Alternate Universe!! Mwa-ha ha ha haaa!! J
Newly promoted Kathryn Janeway walked into her home in Indiana. She wanted to spend her leave relaxing at home and seeing her mother. Kathryn had so much to tell her. She had recently switched from the science department to command and she found herself enjoying the new challenges her command position posed. Hopefully one day she be a captain like her mentor and friend Owen Paris.
She thought about Captain Paris as she made her way to the front door. She hadn’t see Captain Paris since her last leave nearly six months ago. Captain Paris was supposed to be working at Starfleet Command during the break but he hadn’t returned to the Al Batani when all the officers had been recalled.
She had sent him a few messages to inform him of her progress since he had expressed interest in her career but she had only received a brief response to the second one.
Entering her home she laid her bag on the floor near the front door and went to see her mother. She had sent her a message that she would be coming home. Kathryn walked through the rooms on the first level but didn’t see her mother in any of them. When she passed the glass doors to the back patio she noticed her mother outside seemingly deep in thought.
“Mom?” Kathryn called cautiously not wanting to startle her mother.
Gretchen turned her head so that she could see her daughter. She smiled slightly and greeted her but the smile soon vanished as she looked at the object in her hands. Kathryn walked to her mother’s side.
In her hands was a worn teddy bear obviously belonging to a child but she didn’t recognize it as one of her or her younger sisters old toys.
“Whose is that?” Kathryn asked.
After a moment Gretchen replied, “Tommy’s.”
“Tommy?” She couldn’t remember who Tommy was.
“Captain Paris’ son,” Gretchen provided. Her hand tightened ever so slightly around the bear thinking about what that man did to his son and his wife.
“Oh. Why do you have it?” Kathryn wondered and her mother sighed quietly. Kathryn studied her mother’s mood. She seemed to be dealing with some heavy thoughts but she didn’t understand what was bothering her so much.
“Tommy dropped it,” Gretchen said quietly.
“I can take it back to Captain Paris sometime. I’m sure I’ll see him again,” Kathryn offered.
“Sure,” Gretchen said tiredly and handed the bear to her oldest daughter.
Despite its fairly ratty appearance the bear was still soft to the touch and Kathryn imagined that Tommy must miss his friend quite a bit. She promised to take it to Captain Paris. Kathryn had checked and found he was still working at Starfleet Command. She would visit him while she was still on Earth.
“So, I hear you’re moving up the ranks,” Gretchen said with a tender smile as she walked back to the house.
Kathryn smiled glad that her mother wasn’t upset that she had changed tracks. Her father had taken the command route and he was eventually killed during a mission. She knew her mother had the same fear that something would happen to her as well.
A few days later Lieutenant Janeway was waiting outside the office of Captain Paris. She wondered why he had given up commanding his own vessel to take a desk job. She knew about his capture and subsequent torture by the Cardassians; she had been on the ship at the time. Maybe he was still recovering psychologically from what had happened.
A few minutes later a Commodore walked out of the office. Janeway saluted the higher ranking officer and he in return gave her a short nod and continued on his way. Pressing the announcer Kathryn received permission to enter, so she did.
“Lieutenant Janeway,” Captain Paris said neutrally.
“Captain Paris,” she greeted and stood at attention. Owen noticed she was carrying a small object in her hand but it was partly blocked by her body.
“At ease,” he said and Janeway relaxed slightly. “I’m glad to see you’re doing well. I told you that you were fit for command.”
“Thank you, sir,” Janeway said. There were a few seconds of awkward silence until Owen spoke.
“Is there something you need?”
“No, sir but I wanted to return this. I believe it’s your son’s.” She held out the bear to him but he didn’t move from the seat behind the desk. In fact he made no move at all. A shadow seemed to come over his features at the mention of his son.
“It was his favourite,” Owen whispered to himself. Kathryn barely heard the words. He was silent as waves of regret washed over him.
“Captain, is something wrong?” Kathryn asked noticing his state of melancholy.
His attention snapped back to the young woman in his office. “No, everything’s fine,” he lied. “You can keep it. He doesn’t need it….”Owen said not wanting to let her know what had happened.
“Oh….alright then.” She paused for a moment wondering what he was hiding. “It was good to see you again,” She said getting ready to leave.
He nodded not really listening and said something about her contacting him if she needed help. Kathryn left the office but Owen barely noticed. He was still lost in thought.
Millions of miles away his son was out their with his mother probably wondering where his daddy was and why his daddy had hurt him. Owen rested his head in his hands as the miserable state he had been in for the past months returned.
Tommy was gone and it was his fault. Part of him thanked Merra for taking him away so that he couldn’t hurt Tommy or her again but another part of him was angry. She had no right to take away his son!
He wanted to see Tommy again but what could he do? Go to a shrink and loose the last of his remaining dignity or take the risk of trying to take Tommy himself and risk his career at the same time? Neither choice was highly appealing.
I don’t need help, he tried convincing himself. Who was she to tell him what to do? She can’t control him….but she can take away his only child. Loosing Tommy was worse than anything the Cardassians had done to him so why wouldn’t he just give in and get counselling. Paris’s are strong. He didn’t need counselling but she didn’t understand.
Kathryn left Captain Paris’ office her own thoughts moving almost to fast for her to understand. Paris was obviously hurting from something to do with his son. What happened to Tommy? That was the reason for his current state. Where was his son?”
For several minutes after Kathryn recounted her memory she and Chakotay tried to solve the Mystery of Tom. There was so much about him they didn’t know and even more they didn’t understand.
He was obviously a highly trained member of and organization –they could tell from his deportment. ‘Corrin’ is a Fieran name so he might be partly Fieran and from what the Talaxian trader said, the man they knew as Tom Corrin was actually Tom Paris. This was all too confusing.
Chakotay gave up trying to understand Tom for now. “Maybe we should just ask him.”
“I don’t think he’d answer our questions,” Janeway said.
“It doesn’t matter anyway. He’ll be leaving the ship in a few days,” Chakotay stated.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea to just drop him off somewhere and continue on our way. We owe him.”
“I don’t think he helped us to get a reward.” Janeway agreed with his assessment. Tom hadn’t asked for anything extra from them.
“Why does he want to leave so badly?” Janeway posed to no one in particular.
A few decks away Tom was heading to his quarters from the transporter room. They had just said good-bye to the trader and Tom was glad to see him go. That little man had too big a mouth. If they were suspicious or curious about him before, being called Tom Paris had only made it worse.
He walked into his quarters and sat down at the computer terminal. He checked on the encrypted files that were sent from the Mercury before the ship was destroyed. The files were still locked down; nobody had cracked the encryption if anybody had tried at all.
He only had to hang around for a few more days before he could get his own ship. What he hoped to accomplish on his own he didn’t know but he’s been living solo for a long time. Why stop now?
‘The less people who know the better,’ he remembered Kail’s words and understood how true they were. He had seen people killed because they knew something they shouldn’t have. He knew far too much and there were probably a few people in the Alpha Quadrant who would like nothing more than to see him six feet under or in a torpedo casing. Most of the people didn’t know who he was though so he didn’t have to worry about them trying to come after him but there were still a few he had to worry about and thus he had to worry about if they weren’t dead already.
He leaned back in his chair still thinking. They were safe in the Delta Quadrant were they not –seventy-five thousand light-years from home. Nobody out here cared what organization he worked for. Couldn’t he stay? Nobody would be trying to kill him (hopefully). He thought about the Kazon. Well maybe there were a few people out to get him (and Voyager) but they don’t know it was him who help the Voyager crew…unless any of the people he had worked with before told the Kazon about him.
Too many liabilities, Tom thought to himself. That’s why I like to work alone.
Kes was in sickbay again helping the Doctor with the blood tests again. She things had slowed down as much of the crew had already come in the previous days. She remembered about the doctor performing the genetic search in hopes of determining Tom’s surname. She wondered if it had been successful.
Searching for Tom’s file she looked at the name: ‘Paris’
Somewhere else on Voyager a covert message was sent to the Kazon by a traitorous crewmember. The information it held would be vital for the Kazon to get their revenge on the person responsible for their loss. In a few of days they would be stopping at a station to drop off their mystery crewman and that’s when the Kazon could get him and Voyager in a surprise attack.
Torres arrived outside Tom’s quarters range the announcer. A few seconds later she heard Tom call for the person to enter. Walking in she found him working at his desk terminal with music blaring.
“Computer, pause music,” Tom said as she came in. “Hey, Torres,” he greeted causally and shutdown his desk terminal.
“What were you doing?” She asked.
Tom smirked at her curiosity. He remembered Sobey talking about her when he had ‘visited’ the Liberty, or at least the Liberty’s sickbay.
“Nothing to trouble your pretty little head over.” Tom said as he got up. B’Elanna tried to analyse his comment but didn’t understand him well enough to do so. He continued “What bring you to my neck of the woods?”
“Neck of the woods?” Torres had never heard that expression before.
“What are you doing here?” Tom re-iterated.
“Oh, I just came to see how you were doing,” she said and avoided his gaze by looking around his quarters. There wasn’t much to look at. “Nice place you’ve got here.”
“I’m not much of an interior decorator.”
“You’re not kidding. This room is bare.” No objects garnished the walls, not pictures adorned the tables not even a stray piece of clothing lay on his bed. There was nothing in view that marked this room as his own.
“Well, I’m leaving in a few days so I shouldn’t make myself too comfortable,” Tom said.
“Why are you leaving?” B’Elanna asked him bluntly. “Don’t you want to go back home?”
He chose not to mention the fact that his home for the past several years had been destroyed. Instead he shrugged and sat down on the standard issue sofa in his room.
“Your chances of making it back to the Alpha Quadrant alone aren’t very high. One ship out here in the middle of nowhere. Our chances on Voyager aren’t great either.” She paused. “If you stayed you’d improve our odds and your own.”
“You thinks so,” Tom said not confirming or denying anything.
“I think you’ve got a few other trick up your sleeve, yes.” She smiled slightly. He seemed to have a lot of secrets and since he wasn’t sharing them with anybody it only increased her efforts to find out what they were. Usually she wouldn’t have cared but something about him….
“Just a few?” Tom said with cocky smirk on his face. He was becoming more relaxed in her presence. Maybe it was because Sobey had spoken so highly of her or maybe it was something else. His eyes traced her figure that was partially obscured by the Starfleet uniform.
“I don’t know. Maybe more than a few but, then again I could decrypt the information from the Mercury,” She said sounding slightly annoyed and Tom smiled.
There was silence in the room for a few seconds before B’Elanna spoke again.
“I’ll see you around Tom. You should reconsider Janeway’s offer for you to become part of this crew.” She said as she headed for the door.
“Trust me, I’m more trouble than I’m worth.”
“A little trouble never scared me off.” And with that she exited his quarters. Tom sat there for a few minutes trying to figure out exactly what was meant by that last comment. Even after all the jobs he’d done, all the situations he had been able to diffuse, he still didn’t understand women. He smiled to himself as he went to the replicator. He always did like a challenge.
“Come in,” Kathryn said absently as she read through the text displayed on her desk computer. B’Elanna Torres walked in and Kathryn briefly nodded to her. The two women had become friends during their time under the control of the Kazon. At first their personalities had clashed but eventually the tension settled and the two found that they were a formidable team (when they weren’t arguing).
“Sorry to bother you in your quarters Captain,” B’Elanna apologized but Kathryn dismissed it with a wave of her hand. “What are you reading?” B’Elanna asked noticing she didn’t have the older woman’s attention.
“Checking in the background of Mr. Paris,”
“Who’s Mr. Paris?” B’Elanna thought she would be more concerned with figuring out who exactly Tom was.
“Tom Paris,” Kathryn stated.
“I thought he was Tom…” she tried to recall his last name, “…Corrin.”
“So did I but the trader that was on board knew Tom Corrin as Tom Paris, and Paris is a name I know.”
“I don’t follow,” Torres said as she took a seat in a chair.
“He never denied being Tom Paris but he never denied Chakotay calling him Corrin either.” Kathryn rubbed her brow trying to figure out the puzzle before her.
“He never confirmed his name was Corrin either, at least I’ve never heard him. Usually he introduces himself a Tom,” B’Elanna added. There was silence in the room as Kathryn continued looking and B’Elanna wondered what the Captain was looking at until finally she asked.
“I think that Tom may be the son of a Starfleet Admiral,” Kathryn said. “But I can’t find anything in his file beyond his birth date….” She decided to take her search to a more classified area of the database and what she found didn’t shed any light on their mystery man. If anything it only added to the mystery.
Within the classified file was a reference to someone named Tom. Apparently he had met a diplomat that was involved in a difficult situation but managed to diffuse it. The diplomat was unable to give a description as the man wore a mask and could only provide the name.
Kathryn decided to look through the intelligence reports from the DMZ and the information Tuvok had acquired during his stay in Chakotay’s sect. She found a reference to a member of Chakotay’s sect named ‘Sobey’ and some of them were accompanied by a description of another man whom Sobey was sometimes seen conversing with. The description was always the same: blonde, blue eyes, tall, slender build. There was not doubt in Janeway’s mind that this was Tom but exactly was his connection with Sobey?
Janeway told B’Elanna some of what she had found hoping that the engineer would know something about Tom or Sobey that no one knew but that was a dead end.
“He and I weren’t close,” B’Elanna said. They worked in different departments. Sobey was usually on the bridge and she was usually in engineering when they were on the Liberty, rarely crossing paths. “To me he seemed rather secretive, much like someone else we know. Chakotay would know more about him.”
“Then let’s ask him.” Kathryn announced and tapped her commbadge. “Janeway to Chakotay.”
“Yes Captain,” came the quick response.
“If you’re not busy would you please report to my cabin. Lt. Torres and I have a puzzle you may be able to put together,” she said cryptically.
In his quarters, Chakotay wondered what puzzle was too difficult for two people as bright as Kathryn and B’Elanna to figure out; men maybe?
He smirked and responded, “I’m on my way Captain.”
A few minutes later he arrived in Janeway’s quarters.
“Tell me about Sobey,” Janeway said as he walked in.
End Part 6
Wondering who the hell Sobey is? Mwa ha ha ha haa! You’ll have to wait for the next chapter! Comments and constructive criticism to firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: All the Star Trek characters are Paramount’s. I don’t own them (yet). ;)
Archiving: Please do, but tell me! email@example.com
Author’s note: Now you get to here about Sobey and Tom’s trip to the Liberty. And now back to my favourite genre! Action/Adventure, Alternate Universe!! Mwa-ha ha ha haaa!! J
Chakotay paused just inside the entrance the Captain’s quarters. The doors slid shut behind him. “Why do you want to know about him?” Chakotay asked.
Janeway proceeds to tell him about the information she found in the database, but not how she found it. That’s classified.
“Intelligence report no doubt,” Chakotay said when Kathryn had finished. She gave him a small smile. “Is my file in there too?” he asks playfully but Kathryn gets him back on the topic of Sobey and their encounter with Corrin.
“Sobey joined my sect about a year before Tuvok did. Sobey was between thirty and thrity three years old when we met. Corrin was only about…”
“Twenty four,” Janeway guessed. That’s how old Tommy Paris would have been at that time.
Chakotay nodded. “That sound about right. He and Corrin were very much alike in demeanour but Sobey, I could read his eyes and know what he was thinking, maybe it’s a betazoid thing but Corrin…Corrin’s eyes are like ice.”
“Not always…” B’Elanna whispered to herself.
The Liberty was taking heavy damage. Shields
had failed and nothing they tried could lessen the effect of the Cardassian weapons. Inside the ship they could hear the screeching sound as the hull started to buckle. A few moments later another explosion rocked the ship, weapons were gone too.
“Suggestions, “ Chakotay said desperately to the people around him hoping they had an idea that would be their saving grace. Silence was the only response. Chakotay tried to manoeuvre the near crippled vessel but the impulse engines had taken heavy damage and the navigation system was just one major glitch. It seemed that this would be the end of the Liberty and her valiant crew of freedom fighters but Sobey hadn’t given up.
At the Operations stations Sobey had long given up trying to bring shields back online, for now that was a lost cause. Currently he was trying to coax that subspace communication beacon to send out one short message. He had been met with nothing but problems for the past few minutes that he had been trying, but finally the message was sent. He let out the breath he had been holding and hoped his colleague and friend got here in time.
“Captain,” Ayala got Chakotay’s attention, “A ship just decloaked off our starboard bow.”
“Who is it?” Chakotay asked hoping it wasn’t another Cardassin come to join the fun. He doubted it was a Maquis ship; very few of them had cloaking devices.
“Unknown. The ship’s unmarked and there’s no transponder.”
“He’s a friend,” Sobey stated as he looked out the view port. The sleek ship sailed by and engaged the larger Cardassian warship.
“He doesn’t stand a chance,” Chakotay said as he looked at the sensors. If the reading were right the small ship was already heavily damaged. How would it be able to survive taking on a warship alone?
“Don’t count him out just yet,” Sobey said confidently. Tom had never let him down before.
The sleek vessel pitched and rolled avoiding the weapons fire directed at it while it unleashed a hail of torpedoes on the Cardassian ship and relentless phaser fire. The amount of ammunition the small ship unleashed looked like more than it could possibly hold.
The amount of ammunition was running low and the pilot of the ship decided to hold on to his last few torpedoes for the time being. The Cardassian ship still had weapons and that was bad news for the Liberty. They had no means of defence and the ship would only be able to take one or two more direct hits.
The Cardassian commanding officer also knowing this decided to concentrate their efforts on the disabled Maquis vessel but they underestimated the small ship attacking them.
The Cardassian ship fired on the Liberty sending two torpedoes at it but at the same time the small craft let out two carefully aimed torpedoes at the Cardassian vessel just before it sped away to protect the Liberty.
Using his second last torpedo the pilot of the small ship destroyed the first torpedo the Cardassians had shot but when he tried to fire the second one the launcher jammed. The damaged had finally been too much for the ships weapons to take.
The single torpedo sped towards the Liberty with the other ship hot on it’s trail. In two seconds it would impact the Liberty and that might be the one final blow needed to destroy the old ship and all who reside within it.
The Cardassian ship was dealing with its own problems. The last two hits they had taken had destroyed over half of the back up systems the ship had been using and caused a massive power surge thorough out the ship. For reasons unknown to them the torpedoes had easily penetrated their shield and the damage was staggering. Dead in the water they watched as their torpedo approached the Liberty with the small troublesome ship trying to catch up.
“Hang on!” Chakotay yelled as the torpedo was nearly upon them but they waited and felt only a slight shudder when they should have felt the ship falling apart around them. Looking outside or at the sensors they knew what had happened.
The small ship had been guided to intercept the torpedo and save the Liberty. The shockwave had only slightly rocked the Liberty leaving it safe for the moment.
A small device was shot from the small ship to the hull of the liberty. It attached itself and activated. It released a field that strengthened the structural integrity of the damaged ship.
As the ship started to leave the scene Sobey instructed Chakotay to follow and he did, leaving the Cardassians to fume. Slowly the two ships lurched towards the destination known only by the single occupant of the smaller vessel. They entered a nebula that almost completely blocked out their sensors. For nearly an hour they crept along as fast as they could go until final their destination was in sight. And L-Class planet (with a breathable atmosphere though it was a severely arctic climate) appeared on their sensors. They had not even known of its existence.
“The other ship is badly damaged,” Ayala said and just then an explosion erupted from the small craft guiding them. Plasma started to leak and as it reacted with the nebular gases more explosions damaged the ship.
“The planet’s gravity is pulling it down!” Chakotay tried to get their tractor beam online to save the other ship but before he could the ship disappeared in the planets atmosphere. There was silence on the bridge as they helplessly watched their saviour plummet to the planets frozen and rocky surface. At the speed the ship was going there was now way the occupant survived, that’s what most of them were thinking but not Sobey.
“As soon as transporters are online we have to go down and help him.” Sobey said evenly as he went to work. Chakotay thought Sobey was having difficulty coming to terms with the person’s death.
“Sobey,” he looked at the dark haired man he had come to respect, “He’s gone.”
“No, he’s not. Trust me,” he looked into Chakotay’s eyes, “please.” The black eyes of the betazoid man held an unwavering belief that the occupant of the shuttle was alright and so Chakotay conceded to his request.
Nearly three hours later Chakotay, Sobey, Ayala and Golwat, a female Bolian, all beamed to the planets surface wearing heavy jackets to shield them from the cold. Golwat had some medical experience and despite her aversion to cold climates she joined the away team.
The moment the transporter beam released them the harsh wind bit at their exposed skin and they tried to cover up more. Sobey was the first to start walking. The wind was against them but his grim determination gave him all the strength he needed to fight his way through.
During the last hours on the ship Sobey had been working quickly trying to speed up the process of repairs. Chakotay had watched in worry as he worked hoping to all the spirits that Sobey’s friend who had saved them was still alive.
They had beamed down about three hundred meters away from the crash site. The ship had crashed in a valley between two rather large peaks. The targeting scanners on the Liberty were not state of the art and could not place them safely on the hillside so they settled for the other side of the smaller rise.
Sobey kept a pace the other could hardly keep up with, but he stopped every once in a while to help the others and let them catch up. Golwat was a small person and she was having trouble fighting against the wind so Ayala had to help her quite a bit making progress slow. Eventually they made it to the valley and the winds died down to nearly nothing.
Carved into the hard surface ice was the small craft’s skid path when it crashed until finally it slid to a rest. Weapons burns marked the side of the ship but hey could not see the other side of the ship were the torpedo it had intercepted had struck.
As they neared the entrance hatch to the ship Sobey told the other to stay back. He knew the person inside was not unconscious and just might attack them if he felt they were a threat.
He forced open the hatch hoping to feel some heat exit the ship but the interior was as cold as the planet’s surface. He stepped in and looked around but didn’t see any one. Conduits had ruptured mixing toxic gases into the air. The smell of burnt material assaulted his senses as he looked at the damage. Bulkheads had been damaged a few consoles had exploded including the helm, exactly were the pilot would have been sitting.
Sobey turned to face his shipmates that were still standing outside to tell them he couldn’t find anyone but as he did a form dropped from his hiding place on the ceiling and landed behind the intruder. With a disrupter to the back of his head Sobey stayed very still.
“Corrin, it’s me, Sal.”
A second later the weapon was dropped and Sobey turned around.
“Sorry, I didn’t know,” Corrin said softly as he stumbled backwards.
“Holy shit,” was the first words that left Sobey’s mouth when he saw the state of his friend.
“I taught you those words,” Corrin said in a weak voice as he sat down on a storage container.
Sobey waved the others to come over and went back to his assessment of Corrin. Blood had dried (or frozen) on the side of his face from a gash on his forehead. His neck had a plasma burn on it. The sleeve of one arm of his shirt looked liked it had been partly burnt and partly ripped off and a crude bandaged was soaked in blood as it covered a deep gash in his upper arm. Burn marks covered the tattered uniform and Sobey knew how much those suits were designed to hide injuries. If the suit was that badly damaged the injuries inside would be far worse.
Sobey also noticed the blue tinge to Corrin’s lips and the pale cast to his skin. The temperature in the shuttle was well below freezing yet Corrin wasn’t shivering; that was definitely not a good sign.
Golwat also noticed the injuries and opened the med kit she had brought with her. She approached and scanned the human looking man before her. The results were not comforting. His body temperature had dropped several degrees and he was entering the early stages of hypothermia. There were serious internal injuries that they had to take care of and there was another serious wound covered by the suit he wore. She reached to open it up and heal what she could of the injury but Corrin moved away from her hands.
“Believe me you don’t want to look,” he said. He could barely keep his eyes open.
“Stop being stubborn and let her help,” Sobey said sternly and started to unzip the front of the shirt portion of the suit.
“You sound like Reigh,” Corrin mumbled softly.
As he opened the uniform blood dripped out and Sobey cursed again. The inner shirt was fairly shredded and stained with blood. Taking one of the medical instruments he and Golwat went to work healing some of the wounds. Tom slipped into unconsciousness for a moment before stirring again.
“Stay still,” Sobey ordered, preoccupied with his work.
“You can’t order me around…” Tom mumbled.
“Not now Corrin.” Sobey was seriously worried about Tom’s condition. Don’t die on me, Sobey kept repeating in his head and Tom picked up on the fear.
“I’m not going to die Sal. I still owe you,” Tom mumbled before he lost consciousness again. Sobey looked at the man unconscious before him and hoped that he would be alright. He zipped up the suit again. He draped one of Corrin’s arms over his shoulder. Corrin woke up from the painless bliss of unconsciousness as the pain in his arm sharply increased with the motion.
“Ow,” he said deliberately, letting Sobey know he was conscious.
“You’ll be okay,” Sobey assured as Chakotay went to Corrin’s other side to help support the man.
“I know that,” Corrin said but it was cut at the end as a sharp pain ripped through his chest.
With Chakotay and Sobey’s help Corrin was guided out of his ship and into the open. Ayala contacted the Liberty to beam them up and a moment later the five people vanished.
Slowly awareness returned to him. Where was he? What had happened? His memory failed him at the moment. Sal. Had he really been there or had the hypothermia and blood loss made him delusional.
He couldn’t be sure what had happened so falling back on what he was taught he did not move. He listened carefully to his surrounding trying to determine his location.
“Corrin, it’s Sal. I know you’re awake so open your eyes already,” a familiar voice ordered.
“He’s unconscious,” another voice said.
“No, I’m not,” Corrin rasped as he tried to sit up, startling the person who thought he was unconscious.
“Hey! I said open your eyes, not get up,” Sobey said as he helped Tom up. “How do you feel?”
“Like I just went ten rounds with a dozen angry Ktarian,” Corrin joked as he looked at the bandages around his torso. “Where’s my suit?”
“You mean what’s left of the blood soaked and shredded material you were wearing? I disposed of it.”
“At least you left my pants,” Corrin mumbled to himself as he noticed he was missing a very important item. “Sal, where’s my–” Corrin started as he felt his left wrist where the item usually was.
“It’s over here,” Sal said as he fetched the obeject Corrin was looking for. Sobey picked a metal band about six inches wide that wrapped abound Corrin’s forearm. Tom had received this on Fierum Prime and it was considered an honour to wear. One the metal band there was a symbol carved into it and an inscription in hieroglyphics that went aournd the band. Corrin placed it back on his left forearm and closed the clasps to lock it in place.
“Thanks,” Corrin said. Corrin then turned his attention to the man with a tattoo on his forehead looking at him and Sal. “Captain Chakotay, I presume…” the man nodded and stepped closer. “Why is it so damn cold in here?” Corrin asked.
“It’s not. You were suffering from hypothermia not too long ago-” Chakotay said.
“How long have I been out?”
“Only two hours,” Sobey informed him. “You were slipping in and out of consciousness for the first little while.”
“Hmm, that’s great,” Corrin intoned disinterestedly as he got off the biobed. He headed for the door.
“Where the hell do you think you’re going?” Sobey stopped the still injured man before he reached the door.
“Back to my ship. I have work…” He trailed off as he suddenly became light-headed.
“Come on. Back to bed you go,” Sobey helped him back to the biobed. “You lost quite a bit of blood. You won’t be going anywhere for while.”
Corrin didn’t say anything. The few steps he had taken to try and get to the door had taken more energy than he’d willingly admit. He also had to concentrate on ignoring the pain all over his body, which was becoming increasingly more difficult to do.
Sobey helped him lay down. Corrin stared up unseeing at the ceiling. Sobey looked down at him before closing his eyes and reaching out telepathically and touching the surface Corrin’s mind.
“Relax,” Sobey whispered and Corrin’s eyes began to droop. “Don’t fight me Tom,” Sobey said quietly. The blue eyes fluttered closed and finally he slept. Sobey pulled back and left Tom in peace.
“Will he be alright?” Chakotay asked as he moved to Sobey’s side.
“Yes, if he takes care of himself,” Sobey said in a doubtful tone.
“I take it he’s fairly reckless,” Chakotay said looking down at the young man who slept peacefully.
“Reckless is an understatement.”
Sobey and Chakotay walked through the
corridor of the Liberty heading to the bridge. They still had repairs to do. They were silent most of the way. Sobey’s thoughts were with the man in sickbay and Chakotay’s were centred around the man walking beside him. There was so much he didn’t know about Sobey but had always been too busy to ask.
“How do you know Corrin?” Chakotay asked.
“We used to work together,” Sobey said not giving Chakotay much to work with.
“He’s quite young. What did you two do together?” Chakotay inquired further.
Sobey only shrugged. “This and that.”
“Is he Maquis?” Chakotay asked wondering what sect he could be from.
“No he’s not. He usually works alone.”
“Maybe he should join us. His ship is badly damaged,” Chakotay suggested but Sobey shook his head.
“It’s only scratched.”
In sickbay Tom woke again only this time he remembered everything and sat up immediately. He looked around and saw a young bajoran man looking at him. Tom swung his leg over the edge of the bed and stood, slowly.
“Where’s Sal?” he asked the younger man.
“Sal?” There was no one on the ship by that name.
Tom closed his eyes as he tried to recall the other name Sal sometimes went by. “Sobey,”
“I’ll contact him,” the Bajoran said as he went to a console to contact the bridge where he knew Sobey would be.
Meanwhile Tom tested the range of motion he had with his injuries. Most of his injuries had to be treated the old fashioned way with gauze and bandages as they could not afford to use too much energy on the regenerators. Tom gently pressed at the bandage over his torso wondering idly what injuries he had. Once he felt a sharp pain he stopped and moved to a different area.
He looked at his arms and noticed a few more bandages. I was banged up pretty badly, Tom thought to himself as he tested his shoulder. There was some pain when he moved but he could manage. There was also a bandage on the right side of his neck covering another wound.
“Stop poking. You’re just going to aggravate it.” Tom turned to the entrance to the room and saw Sal walk in.
“Always ordering me around,” Tom shook his head from side to side.
“It’s not like you listen to me anyway” Sobey turned to Gerron and thanked him for watching his friend. Gerron responded and left the room leaving the two men alone. “I’m glad you were in the area.”
“Me too,” Tom said. “So now how many do I owe you?”
Sobey smiled, something he didn’t do in the company of many people. “You don’t owe me anything,” the betazoid told the younger half human/half Fieran.
“I should get back to my ship. Start on repairs and…stuff,”
“Sure,” Sobey conceded and gave Tom a shirt he had taken from his own limited wardrobe.
“Thanks,” Tom said as he put on the black shirt. They left the sickbay and headed towards the transporter room. Sobey nodded at the passing shipmates as he and Tom talked about what had been happening lately.
Sobey told Tom about some of the crewmembers on board. Captain Chakotay was a good man and it was an honour to be part of his sect. B’Elanna Torres the head engineer, Sobey spoke very highly of. Talented, pretty, brilliant and rather fiery.
“You’d like her,” Sobey concluded. Tom just rolled his eyes.
“There are a couple of crewmembers that don’t sit quite right with me.” Tom listened carefully knowing that Sobey was an experienced man and if something didn’t feel right to him, it’s because it wasn’t. “There’s another betazoid on board but I don’t feel anything from him.”
“Mental barrier,” Tom suggested.
“No. From you I feel next to nothing because of your barriers but from him it’s different. There’s also a woman who I find….questionable.”
“She’s secretive,” Sobey tried to describe.
“So are you.” Tom said plainly.
“Then what is she hiding?” Sobey asked but Tom didn’t have the answer.
“Watch her, and watch your back,” Tom advised as they reached the transporter room.
“I always do,” Sobey said as they entered.
Inside Captain Chakotay was waiting to thank Corrin for his help and at the controls was B’Elanna Torres.
“Corrin, thanks for your help,” Chakotay said as he extended his hand. Tom shook it. “Are you sure you want to go back down there-”
“I’m not going to abandon my ship because it’s been scratched,” Corrin said.
“Corrin, be careful,” Sobey warned as Tom took his place on the transporter pad.
“I always am, Sal.” Tom nodded to the woman at the controls and in an instant he vanished.
Sobey took a deep breath and wondered if he would every see his friend again. He had nearly lost him again and now he’s on his own once more. He left the transporter room without a word to anyone.
Torres and Chakotay glanced at the other wondering what was going on. Corrin seemed to know Sobey very well and vice versa but from where did they know each other from?
End Part 7
I’ll write more about Sobey later! You just wait! firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: All the Star Trek characters are Paramount’s. I don’t own them (yet). ;)
Archiving: Please do, but tell me! email@example.com
Author’s note: And now back to my favourite genre! Action/Adventure, Alternate Universe!! Mwa-ha ha ha haaa!! J
Tom was eating a meal in the mess hall. The food wasn’t great but he’d had worse. Besides he wanted to conserve his replicator rations. He would need to replicate some data storage devices to get the information Em had left in Voyager’s database. He would take the information with him when he left Voyager.
Tom rubbed the back of his neck trying to determine why he felt like somebody was watching him. Surreptitiously, he gazed around the mess hall searching for any suspicious characters looking in his direction. The mess hall was fairly busy but in the crowd of faces Tom notices one person staring at him. When she realizes her target is looking at her she looks away.
Tom leaves the mess hall a few minutes later his destination, his quarters. Once he’s there he sits at his computer and runs a series of diagnostics over Voyager’s systems. He finds nothing wrong but that doesn’t mean much. Diagnostic have missed errors before.
Tom leans back in his chair thinking. What would that woman be planning? Maybe he was just being paranoid. Well, nearly fifteen years of watching your back can do that to a person.
He remembered what Sobey said to him when he was on the Liberty. Tom contemplates what his next move should be. Go to Chakotay? Got to the Captain? With what evidence?
“Come in,” Chakotay says after hearing the announcer to his office ring. Tom steps in and Chakotay is slightly surprised to see him. He rarely sees Tom outside of the bridge. “Tom, what can I do for you?”
Tom paused trying to word his question carefully. He had heard that Chakotay and his suspect were intimate for a while. “Do you trust Seska?” Tom asked trying not to imply anything but it was hard not to.
Chakotay hadn’t been expecting that sort of question. There was a keen sense of déjà vu that accompanied it as Chakotay tried to give a response. Sobey had asked him that very question when they were on the Liberty and Chakotay was not proud of the response he had given. At the time Chakotay had been in a relationship with Seska. Nobody else on the crew had known of the relationship yet but Chakotay still felt like Sobey was questioning his judgement and had gotten very angry with the other man. This time he would hold his temper in check. His judgement had been wrong about Tuvok, why not about Seska.
“I…I trust her, to a certain extent,” Chakotay said hoping his response sounded more confident than he was feeling.
Tom eyed Chakotay carefully for a moment before nodding and leaving the room before Chakotay could say anything else. Chakotay’s inability to give him a sure answer was enough.
Before he had come Tom had found some evidence that someone had been sending covert messages to someone outside the ship.
“I thought you might want to go to the holodeck for a break.”
Tom regarded the Ensign in front of him for a moment. Harry Kim reminded him of Kaiche. A brief smile flicked across Tom’s face.
“Sure Kim. Lets go,” Tom said and put down the padd he had been working on.
“You can call me Harry.”
“Harry it is,” Tom said obliging.
The two men entered the holodeck and found it full of crewmembers taking time to relax. Neelix and Crewman Baxter had been working on the program together. It was a resort program of some sort. They were in a tropical climate and the multi-levelled patio had beach chairs and tables set up.
A snooty looking waiter passed between Harry and Tom not sparing them a second glance as he went about his duties.
“Friendly sort,” Tom commented. All the holo-characters were like that: stiff and formal. The crew didn’t seem to care though. They just came to have some time away from reality.
Harry gazed out at the scenery before them. The sun was setting casting hues of orange and magenta over the horizon. The fresh breeze and the salt air had a calming effect and Harry found himself entranced by the serenity of this spot.
“Have you ever seen anything so beautiful?” Harry asked Tom.
“Yes,” Tom said.
Harry turned to look at Tom. Tom had his back to the sunset and was staring at the crowd of crewmembers, one crewmember actually. Harry followed Tom’s gaze and found his eyes resting on none other than the chief engineer. Harry looked at Tom trying to make sure he wasn’t mistaken.
B’Elanna wasn't looking in Tom and Harry’s direction and was unaware of Tom’s gaze. Harry looked at B’Elanna. She was smart, and pretty but Harry had never considered her more than a friend. She was too….confrontational for him.
“I know, I’m dreaming,” Tom said aware that Harry knew who he was looking at. Tom walked to an empty beach chair and leaned back taking his first good look at the sunset. It was beautiful.
Harry took the seat next to him and the two talked for a while. The topics were kept light and away from their personal lives. Tom and Harry found that they liked each other’s company. It was a shame Tom would be going in a few days.
“Have you ever been to Earth?” Harry asked breaking the silence they had fallen into.
“I was born there. Lived there for a few years and I go back every couple of years to see a friend.”
“I lived there most of my life.”
“You miss it,” Tom said.
“I’ll probably never see it again,” Harry said sadly.
“You’re being rather pessimistic.” Tom looked over at the usually cheerful ensign. “You’ll get back, and you’ll see her again.”
“You’re girlfriend or fiancé, whoever it is you’re thinking about.” Tom informed.
“How did you know I was thinking about my fiancé?” Harry inquired suspiciously.
“Just a guess.” Tom said turning his gaze back to the sun that had almost disappeared behind the horizon. Tom noticed Harry seemed less at ease than he had been earlier so he decided to change the subject. “There was this place on Earth I liked to visit. A bar in Marseille, France called Sandrine’s. That’s usually where I went when I was on earth.”
“A friend recommended it to you?” Harry asked, glad that the subject wasn’t on what was waiting for him back home.
“Not exactly. I heard my mother talking about it. I think it was one of the places my dad took her to a few times.” Tom continued and told Harry about the quaint little bar, the people who went there and the woman who ran the place. It didn’t sound like the kind of place Harry would visit on his own but Tom seemed convinced Harry would like the place.
A few hours later it was getting late and Tom and Harry left the holodeck to head back to their quarters. The trip to the turbolift was silent but it wasn’t an uncomfortable silence. The two were more comfortable in each other’s presence and the evening had been a pleasant change for both of them. For Tom, it was refreshing to talk to somebody other than Em.
The next morning Tom went to the sickbay as was his routine for the past couple of days. The Doctor greeted him differently this morning.
“Mr. Paris,” the Doctor greeted.
“Paris?” Tom asked casually. He wondered how the Doctor found out he was a Paris.
“Since you didn’t see it pertinent to provide us with you’re family name I took it upon myself to look through the database,” the Doc said as he scanned the area of Tom’s leg that was injured.
“That was a long shot.”
“Yes but it hit the mark. Admiral Paris’ DNA is in the system and you are his son according to my results.” The Doctor was rather proud of himself for finding out something about his mysterious patient.
Tom wondered if the Doctor would keep this to himself. It didn’t really matter though. He would be off the ship in two days.
“It seems your injury is healed,” the Doctor says and Tom gets off the biobed ready to leave, “but there are some older injuries that will require some treatment. There is some scar tissue that needs to be removed.”
“And how long would that take?”
“If you come back tomorrow I can have the instruments ready for the procedure to get at the scar tissue but the other injuries would require delicate treatments over a few weeks,” The Doctor explained.
“I’ll come back tomorrow but the other injuries will have to heal on their own.”
“Still planning on leaving,” the Doctor inferred.
“Nothing to keep me here.” Tom shot back as he walked to the exit, even though his statement wasn't entirely true.
The rest of the day went by quickly for most people. Shifts changed and ships duties continued as the sleek intrepid class vessel warped between the unnamed stars of the Delta Quadrant. It was nearly 0000 and most of those not on duty were in their quarters –most, but not all.
Lt. Torres strode towards the entrance of holodeck two. The holodeck wasn’t her destination; rather it was the power grid next to it. Engineering had received report of power fluctuations in the area. They weren’t serious, just annoying.
B’Elanna, not being able to sleep, had decided to take it upon herself and fix the grid. Her thoughts had been spread over a wide range of topics and issues, one of which was in the holodeck right now.
Seeing that the holodeck was in use B’Elanna stopped at the controls to see who was in side. She asked the computer and it told her that Tom Paris was inside. Tom Paris?
“Computer, what’s the location of Tom Corrin?” B’Elanna asked the computer. She wondered if the computer’s database had both of Tom’s identities on file.
‘Tom Corrin is in holodeck two,’ was the reply.
“Is he alone?”
B’Elanna felt more than a little tension ease from the set of her shoulders as she heard that Tom was alone. Why did it bother her so much if he was with someone else? She looked at the control panel again to see what program was running. ‘No. 8’ was the name and B’Elanna guessed it was one of Tom’s holoprograms.
Inside the holodeck Tom reloaded his weapon and took aim. It was dark out. The crescent moon high above him was providing the only lighting. Cautiously he stepped through the thick vegetation knowing that there was another potential attacker around every tree.
His gaze slowly swept across the forested area carefully, as not to miss any detail. A slight inconsistency of the dark shadows alerted him to the presence of one of his targets. Raising his weapon slightly he pulled the trigger and watched the almost perfectly hidden man fall to the ground unconscious.
A slight motion in the stillness caught Tom’s eye and he fired in that direction successfully taking down his last target. A slight smile crossed Tom’s features as he mentally adjusted the score, Me: seven, them: none.
Tom headed to the clearing ahead were the last stage of this simulation was set. Cautiously he emerged from the forest. He crouched down and swept the entire area with his rifle but there was no one in sight. Staying as low as he could, Tom crept to the side of the building close to the entrance. He prepared himself for the security patrol that would be coming around the corner in a few seconds.
Tom switched weapons pulling out two smaller firearms. The footsteps became louder as the patrol approached. By the sound of it there were at least two, maybe three coming. Tom held his guns poised to fire.
He was ready to give the security patrol an unwelcome surprise when they came around but suddenly all the colour in the holodeck was replaced with shades of red. Tom stood knowing what was happening. Somebody had gotten through the privacy lock and was about to enter the holodeck.
The program fizzled away just as the doors opened to permit the entrance of B’Elanna Torres. She only got a chance to see the program vanish leaving Tom standing in the middle of the holodeck clad in dark clothing. Tom turned to look at her but said nothing.
B’Elanna walked in and looked around wondering what program had been running. She stopped walking when she was a few meters in front of him.
“Number Eight,” she said, “I’m guessing it’s one of yours,”
“That it is,” Tom said not sound at all angry that she had just walked in on his program when there had been a privacy lock in place. “I expected more from you,” Tom said and B’Elanna began to worry that he was mad and she just couldn’t tell. “If you’re such a good engineer you should have been able to get in to the holodeck without tripping any of the alerts. You must be slipping.” Tom cracked a slight smile.
B’Elanna raised a challenging eyebrow before taking another look around. “What kind of program was it?”
“One that I made,” Tom said and watched as she stifled the surge of annoyance that threatened to overwhelm her at his response.
“A pilot, a demolition expert, and holo-programmer,” She said as she stepped closer to him. “Any other secret talents.” She said with half a smile
Tom leaned forward so there faces were only a few inches apart. “Wouldn’t you like to know.”
Both were frozen in place for a few seconds before B’Elanna stepped around him and looked around the holodeck just to get her mind off the man in front of her. She had noticed some of the glances Tom threw at her the other day in the holodeck and had been wondering what promise they held. Now that she was finally alone with him she didn’t know what to do.
“You must be an engineer too,” B’Elanna said wit her back to him.
“What makes you say that?”
“When you saved the Liberty from the Cardassian ship and crashed on that planet, your shuttle was heavily damaged. Yet somehow you managed to repair it and get off that planet.” She turned to face him. “I’m not so sure even I could have fixed that.”
“I had some help,” Tom said cryptically. She just looked at him wondering what he was keeping from her and from everybody.
Tom carefully looked at B’Elanna trying to commit her every feature to memory. He was attracted to her; there was no doubt about that in his mind. It only made leaving more difficult; he would deprive himself of the chance of getting to know her. He tried to clear the thought from his mind. He didn’t need another matter trying to dissuade him from leaving. If there were so many things telling him to stay, he thought to himself, then maybe he should.
“If you’ll excuse me,” Tom said and turned to leave. This conversation had gone on long enough.
“Are you part of a covert operations department, or something?” B’Elanna asked Tom’s retreating form.
“Covert ops?” Tom said turning his head to look at her over his shoulder. She didn’t say anything, only waited for an answer. “You’ve been reading too many fiction novels, Torres,” Tom said and left the holodeck.
Somewhere else on Voyager Seska made another communiqué to the Kazon. She finalized the plan and cut the link. Checking the status of the ship’s systems, everything was as it should be. No alerts had been sounded and nobody had stumbled across her transmission.
Allowing herself a triumphant smile, Seska closed the small terminal. In less than forty-eight hours, Tom Paris would be in the hands of the Kazon, if everything went according to plan. She almost felt sorry for him.
In his quarters Tom watched as the link was broken. He had retrieved one of his surveillance programs from his encrypted information and used it to monitor external communications. Unfortunately the transmission had been very short and Tom only got a few pieces of information.
Checking the information, Tom saw that the incoming audio of the last transmission had been recorded by the program but that was all that was documented. The identity of Voyager’s traitor was still unknown but Tom had a gut feeling that it was none other than Seska.
He searched through the computers logs looking for any other useful information but gave up a few hours later deciding he needed to get some sleep. He’d tell Janeway about what he had found later that day, if he felt inclined to do so.
Early that morning Captain Janeway, padd in hand walked through the corridor of deck three on her way to see Tom Corrin or Tom Paris, whatever he chose to call himself. The padd in her hand contained the information that she had found in the classified files and the intelligence reports. She wanted to get the truth from him. She needed to hear from him that he was or was not Tommy Paris so that one day she could tell Admiral Paris about his son.
She came to the entrance to his quarters and rang the chime. She had checked with the computer and knew that Tom was inside. A moment later Tom called for the person to enter.
The Captain entered Tom’s quarters and saw him standing in the middle of the room watching her as she came in.
“Captain, what can I do for you?” Tom asked politely.
“I was hoping you could clear something up for me,” Janeway said and handed him the padd.
Tom looked at Janeway carefully before he looked at the information on the padd. He read a couple of lines of the first file then went to the next one and the one after that and so on until he had seen enough.
“Tom Paris? Or Tom Corrin?” Janeway posed the simple question with an answer that was more complicated than she imagined.
“Both,” Tom said calmly and handed the padd back to her.
“Both?” She said trying to fathom the explanation behind that answer. Tom surprised her by answering the question.
“My mother was Merra Corrin, and my father was Owen Paris,”
“Was? Don’t you mean is?” Janeway corrected him.
“I said ‘was’ and that’s what I meant.” Janeway was treading on thin ice. She didn’t know anything about him and no right to presume anything. Why did she care anyway? He would be gone in twenty-four hours or so. “My mother is dead and my father….he’s out there, somewhere.”
“You don’t talk to him at all?” Janeway asked.
“You don’t know what happened do you?” Tom asked her and she shook head. “I haven’t seen him since I was four years old when he and my mother separated, actually she left him and took me with her.”
“Why did she do that?” Janeway asked sounding rather outraged.
Tom came to his mother’s defence. “Owen didn’t give her any other choice,” he said sternly. He remembered having conversations like this with his mother before she was killed. When he asked about his father she would tell him. When he was very small it would only be the bare essentials but as he grew Merra told Tommy more of what happened but never all of it. To get the entire story Tom had to go to Reigh.
“What did he do?” Janeway asked concerned that whatever it was had to be pretty horrible for a wife to feel so threatened as to leave and take her child.
“He didn’t mean to do it,” Tom said not thinking through everything that he was saying. He didn’t want Captain Janewy to think badly of his father. He knew his father was a well-respected Starfleet Admiral and he was not going to tarnish his hard earned reputation. “The Cardassians….they hurt him, and he couldn’t handle it,” Tom said softly and looked away.
Janeway didn’t speculate on what Tom meant. It was obviously something he didn’t want to discuss so she left it at that.
“I saw him once though,” Tom said looking at the ground.
“What did he say?” Janeway inquired. She had never heard Owen talk of his son to anyone after the day she had gone to his office. She had been in Admiral Paris’ office several times and had never seen Tom’s picture.
“He didn’t know who I was,” Tom smiled faintly before shrugging and looking back to Janeway. Any emotion she had just witnessed from him had been sealed away again. It looked like Tom was done with this conversation but she wasn’t.
“Tom, I know your father, in fact I have something of yours in my home in Indiana. A stuffed teddy bear.”
“Ibidy.” Tom provided the name. He saw the expression on Janeway’s face when she heard the name of Tom’s stuffed animal. “I was four.”
A small smile tugged at her lips as she imagined little Tommy Paris playing with ‘Ibidy’. “He misses you,” she said.
“I’ll bet he does,” Tom joked thinking she was referring to Ibidy.
“Your father misses you, Tommy,” Kathryn said and waited for his response curious as to what it would be.
“I know,” he said sadly.
At that instant the shield around his emotions seemed to falter and Janeway caught a true glimpse of the man Tom Paris was.
“I miss him too.”
End Part 8
I don’t think I’ll be putting anymore P/T stuff in here. Why? I don’t feel like it. More coming soon! Leave a review or email me! Thanks! firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: All the Star Trek characters are Paramount’s. I don’t own them (yet). ;)
Archiving: Please do, but tell me! email@example.com
Author’s note: Commbadge symbols ((=/=)) mark flashbacks at the beginning and end. And now back to my favourite genre! Action/Adventure, Alternate Universe!! Mwa-ha ha ha haaa!! J
The streets were nearly deserted, the dense fog not making it a good night to hit the town especially not in this area of Marseille, France. The bar would still be open though. Sandrine’s was always open for him, at least that what she had told him.
He entered the small establishment and made his way towards the bar. It was a slow night for sure. The pool table was empty only four other people were in the bar. A couple sitting at a table enjoying the evening, at the bar was an older man and behind the bar was Sandrine, the wise woman who ran the quaint little tavern.
“Thomas,” she said with a thick French accident. With a smile she rounded the bar and gave him a hug, which he returned in full. “It has been so long cher.” She looked up at him trying to note any changes. He looked the same to her, a lost little boy.
“A year and a half,” Tom said. He noticed the man at the bar turn his head slightly to glance at him before going back to his drink. The brief glimpse he got of the man’s profile conjured up a memory and he paused for a moment.
“Something wrong?” Sandrine asked him. Tom shook his head.
“No, nothing,” his gaze still rested on the man at the bar.
“Come,” Sandrine said and led him to the bar. Tom made himself comfortable on a stool while Sandrine walked to the other side and got him his usual beverage. Tom glanced at the middle-aged man at his right. Why was he so familiar?
“Here you are Thomas,” Sandrine said and handed him a glass of red wine from her personal collection. Tom smiled his thanks at her and out of the corner of his eye he noticed the other man look at him.
For a few minutes Tom sipped at his wine while he and Sandrine talked; mostly about her and what she had been doing. Tom kept his life private, only telling her some details. Not that he didn’t trust her but rather he couldn’t put her in danger by giving her information that might be sensitive.
Tom noticed that the man next to him would look over at him whenever Sandrine said his name. It usually wouldn’t have bothered Tom as much as it did but there was a little voice in the back of his mind whispering something to him about this man that he couldn’t quite understand. What was the connection?
Feeling another pair of eyes on him Tom looked up from his glass and saw Sandrine’s blue gaze on him. He looked at her questioningly.
“Sometime what you’re looking for is right in front of you,” Sandrine said cryptically. She moved closer to him and whispered, “or right of you.” Sandrine went to the check on the couple at the table leaving the two men alone.
His blonde hair was turning grey and he was nearly bald on top. The facial features were familiar and after a few moments of contemplation Tom decided to take a chance. He had an idea who this man might be. All he had to do was ask.
“Admiral Paris,” Tom said looking over at him.
Slightly startled the older man looked at Tom. The Admiral had not expected anybody to recognize him here. “Yes.” Owen confirmed his identity to the strangely familiar young man.
Tom swallowed a lump in his throat and tried to clear his head. The word ‘dad’ was on the tip of his tongue but he held back and stayed silent.
“Do I know you?” Admiral Paris asked carefully examining Tom’s face.
“Once, a long time ago,” Tom said in a hushed voice.
“Sounds like the beginning of a fairytale,” Owen said.
“Or the beginning of a nightmare,” Tom said quietly. The two men were silent for a moment. Owen was still trying to figure out where he had seen this man before and Tom was trying to decide what to say next. What is he supposed to say to the father he never really got to know?
“You have a son,” Tom said staring at the liquid in his glass.
Owen turned his head to look at the man wondering how he knew. “You know him?” Owen asked a touch of emotion entering the usually controlled voice.
Tom swallowed. What should he say? Hi Dad, it’s been a while –not likely.
“Do you know my son?” Owen asked again when the real question he wanted to ask was: ‘Are you my son?’
“He wants you to know that….that he misses you,” Tom said, carefully controlling his voice.
Owen looked down at the small glass he clutched in his hand. Emotion after emotion went through him and he couldn’t control himself. A tear escaped his tightly closed eyes. His son….missed him.
Hearing the sound of the metal legs of the barstool moving across the wood floor, Owen realised that the young man next to him was leaving. He quickly turned to him.
“Please, could you give him a message for me?” Owen asked hopefully. Tom nodded after a few seconds. “Tell him, I’m sorry and that I miss him too.”
Seeing the pained look in the older man’s eyes Tom nodded. He would have agreed to just about anything to make his father happy.
“Thank you,” Owen said to the blonde stranger. He looked back at his glass
“You’re welcome.” Tom said with a genuine smile.
The voice brought back a memory. ‘You’re welcome, Daddy.’ Little Tommy stared up at his father with a smile, glad that he had been able to help. “You’re welcome.” The voice of the tall stranger. He sounded different when he smiled, when he wasn’t so guarded.
“Tommy?” said Owen and looked to where the man had been standing only a moment earlier but he was gone. Owen frantically looked around the bar. He got off the bar stool so quickly it fell over and ran the short distance to the exit. “Tommy!” he cried.
The night air was cold against his skin and the fog limited his vision. “Tommy!” he called again but there was no response. The streets were deserted and silent, no sign of the man he now believed was his son.
He could hear the voice calling his name but he didn’t stop walking. He couldn’t go back and face his father. Not yet, maybe not ever.
“That was six years ago,” Tom said quietly. On the couch of Tom’s quarters sat his rapt audience.
“You haven’t seen him since then?” Janeway asked. For the last several minutes she had been listening to Tom recount the event.
Shaking his head Tom answered her. “No. Well, I saw him, from a distance a couple of time after that but never spoken to him.” A humourless laugh left him. “It was one of the best and one of the worst nights of my life. I don’t suppose that makes any sense.” Tom said looking at the grey carpet.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
“Charles Dickens,” Tom said still looking down. “He read that to me, but we never got a chance to finish it.”
Janeway smiled slightly and was about to say something more when her commbadge chirped and the first officer called her to the bridge.
She arrived on the bridge a few moments later. Chakotay walked over to her. “You were late,” he said with a hint of a smile. She returned it briefly. “Bad timing?” Chakotay asked wondering if he had interrupted something important. Janeway nodded for him to follow her to the ready room.
“Are you sure it’s him?” Chakotay asked sceptically.
“Yes,” Janeway said confidently.
Chakotay looked at his Captain for a few minutes trying to interpret her expression. He didn’t want her to get wrapped up in solving who Tom Corrin was only to be disappointed. “Then were has he been? Where’s his mother-”
“Dead,” Janeway said piercing him with a sharp look. “It’s him Chakotay,” Kathryn said her expression softening a bit.
He was silent for a moment before speaking. “So what are you going to do now?”
Kathryn sat down in behind her desk. “I don’t know. I don’t want to drop him off a that planet but we have no grounds to keep him here.”
“You want to reunite father and son,” Chakotay said and sat in a chair across from Janeway.
“Captain Paris changed after his capture by the Cardassians but he lost a piece of himself when he lost his son and to this day, Admiral Paris is still pained by that memory,” Janeway tried to explain. “Maybe it would give him a sense of closure to know that Tommy is alright.”
“Is it set?” Cullah asked from a side room in his ship.
“Everything’s ready,” Seska replied. “Tomorrow you’ll have Paris.”
“I better, or else I’ll have your head.” He threatened and then ended the transmission leaving Seska to stew over his words.
“Again?” Tom questioned as his program alerted him that another secret transmission had been made. “Let’s see if we can trace this one,” Tom said as he started entering commands into his computer terminal.
Tom worked diligently at his computer trying to keep his mind off the conversation he had with the Captain earlier. She knew his father. Maybe he should ask her about him. No, better not to.
His efforts finally paid off and Tom was able to hear part of the message that was recorded by his program. Whatever was happening it was going down tomorrow and it looked like he was the prize. He still couldn’t figure out whom the Kazon were communicating with; he only had a hunch.
“Doctor to Paris,” the Doctor’s voice interrupted Tom’s work.
“What?” was the less than genial greeting.
“You’re late for you’re appointment in Sickbay, that’s what,” the Doctor responded.
“Some other time Doc. I’ve got some important business to attend to.”
“You’re health is important Mr. Paris,” the Doctor protested.
“Paris out.” Tom cut the link and left his quarters.
After hearing the Captain give him permission to enter Tom strode through the doors and entered the ready room where he found Captain Janeway speaking with Commander Chakotay.
“Captain I need to show you something,” Tom said and handed her a padd with the information he had collected on it. “Voyager’s got a leak.”
Twenty minutes later the senior Staff had assembled all wondering why the emergency meeting had been called. Janeway soon explained to them the information the Tom had given her. She handed out orders to her officers each to do their part in securing Voyager’s systems and finding the culprit.
“Captain,” Tom interrupted near the end of the meeting. “I have one thing to append to your plan.”
“I’ll need one of your shuttles and I won’t be bringing it back,” Tom said.
Kathryn quickly deciphered what he meant. “You still intend on leaving.”
“The Kazon are after me. I can lead them away from Voyager.” Tom explained.
“I can’t let you do that,” Captain Janeway said leaving no room for argument but Tom argued anyway.
“I don’t want or need your permission, Captain, just a shuttle.”
Kathryn, knowing this argument would not be resolved any time soon turned to the rest of her officers and dismissed them. They filed silently out of the room wondering if Tom had a death wish.
“Listen mister, I have a duty to protect everybody who lives on this ship, including you. Whether you like it or not.”
“I’ll have to chose not.”
There were a few seconds of tense silence before Tom spoke.
“I can take care of myself.”
“And what if we run into the Kazon again after you’re gone? They won’t stop at you. They’ll go after us too.”
“You’ll just have to ensure that never occurs,” Tom said confidently.
“Tom, I can’t let you take such risk. Besides we still owe you,” She said with half a smirk hoping to lighten the mood.
“You don’t owe me anything-”
“Then I owe your father. He’s done a lot for me and he deserves a chance to meet you.” Janeway hoped pushing on the subject of his father would sway his decision. “You can’t make it back to the Alpha Quadrant on your own.”
Tom looked away from her and to the stars that hung motionless against he black backdrop. There were too many conflicting emotions. What should he do?
“Do you really want to go?” Janeway asked softly.
After a moment Tom answered, his voice barely above a whisper, “No.”
Kathryn had noticed the friendship developing between Tom and Harry and the glances Tom and B’Elanna sometimes cast in the others direction. That was most likely the reason Tom was reluctant to go. “My offer still stands. There’s a place for you on this ship,” she pauses, “but it seems to me you’ve already found one.”
Ensign Kim’s voice over the comm. interrupts them. “Captain, with a modified long range scan we’ve located eight Kazon ship along our course.”
“Tell helm to adjust our course to avoid as many of them as possible,” Janeway ordered. “I’ll send Mr. Paris to help you in a few moments.”
“Aye Captain, Kim out.”
“I need to visit the Doctor for a few minutes.”
“Is something wrong?”
“No, I just need to ask him something.” Tom said as he started towards the exit. “I’ll report to the bridge when I’m done.”
Janeway nodded and left the briefing room. She had a ship to command.
“Doc?” Tom looked around sickbay looking for the Doctor. “Computer activate EMH,” he ordered realizing that the Doctor was probably wasn’t activated.
“I’m already on Mr. Paris,” the Doctor walked out from a secluded corner of Sickbay. “Come for your treatment?” the Doctor asked smugly thinking that he had won.
“No, I need to ask you something,” Tom started. “Have you noticed anything odd about Seska?”
“I don’t know of any crewmember by that name,” the Doctor said and walked over to check his records. After sifting through the names he turned back to Tom. “I have no medical record of any crewmember by the name of Seska.”
“Are you sure? She’s bajoran, dark hair, about this tall,” Tom gestured.
“I assure you Mr. Paris, I have not seen any crewmember of that name or description,” The Doctor said walking away from Tom to go back to what he was doing when another thought ran through his program. “I asked for all new crewmembers to report to me for a check up!” The Doctor turned around to continue his rant to Tom but found that sickbay was empty except for him.
Tom arrived on the bridge a few minutes later holding a data chip. He went directly to Ensign Kim who was working diligently at his station.
“Found anything interesting?” Tom asked.
“Not yet. Every time I think I may have found something it just disappears. I’ve run two diagnostics already but nothing appears to be wrong.”
“Phantom-files,” Tom said.
“You’ve come across something like this before?”
Tom nodded. Not only had he come across phantom-files, he’s made them on many occasions.
“May I?” Tom asked and Harry stepped aside to allow Tom to use the console. Inputting a few commands and transferring the data from his chip to the main system Tom used the protocol to partially decrypted and open his database. Access was still restricted only to Tom but with enough time and effort and good engineer or computer technician could get into some of it.
‘Access Denied,’ the computer’s voice sounded.
“Computer, Verify: F-T-X 0196-Tom-12”
‘Verified. Access granted.’
“What are you doing?” Harry asked curiously.
“I have a couple of tricks that will find those elusive files,” Tom answered.
Tom left Harry to work the program and try to get those files while he went to ask Tuvok something.
“Tuvok you served with Seska on the Liberty,” Tom started, “did you ever notice anything odd about her?”
“No, however, during our capture by the Kazon she was often seen conversing with Kazon guards and also received special treatment from the guards,” Tuvok stated.
“Do you think she was helping them,”
“I have not evidence to support such a theory,” Tuvok said and went back to work. Tom surreptitiously rolled his eyes. He should have known better than to ask for an opinion from a Vulcan.
From the edge of his vision Tom noticed Harry moving away from his console and towards the turbolift.
“Something wrong Harry?” Tom asked wondering why the young Ensign was leaving his station.
“Just a small glitch in the computer system that’s impairing my search.” He said pausing before he went into the small alcove to the turbolift. “It must have been overlooked by the computer technicians during repairs. I’ll have it fixed in no time.” Harry walked out of sight leaving Tom to wonder exactly what glitch Harry had discovered.
Ensign Kim walked through the corridor of deck seven of Voyager. His destination was the brain of Voyager, the computer core. Harry paid little attention to his surroundings as he went, his mind focused on the procedure he would take in order to isolate and fix the computer error.
The computer core was vital to the ship and any modifications he made could have adverse effects throughout the ship.
He entered the somewhat cramped room. The lighting was low and the consoled and computer memory structures cast awkward shadows in the room making it seem dull. Harry walked directly to the nearest maintenance console and as he logged, he noticed something. He wasn't alone. According to the log there was another person in the room, but it didn’t say who.
Turning around Harry looked around the room. He didn’t see anybody but there were several shadowed corners and alcoves that could be obscuring his vision and he thought little of it.
On the bridge Tom was at Harry’s console reviewing Harry’s findings. He came across the same glitch that Harry had but Tom was suspicious. He had run a program like the one he had given to Harry before and had never come across this error.
Utilizing another of his ‘tricks’ Tom was able to better isolate the error. It was man made, and it was new. According to the ship’s logs it had only been created twenty-four minutes ago, the same time the Captain instructed the helm to change course to avoid the Kazon. Whoever was doing this was well aware of what was occurring on the ship.
“Tom to Kim.” Tom waited for a response but got nothing. “Bridge to Ensign Kim, please respond.” Still there was not response. Tom followed Harry’s earlier path and headed for the lift. “Computer, location of Ensign Kim.”
‘Ensign Kim is in the main computer core.’
Tuvok watched in slight confusion as Tom darted from the bridge. He had heard Tom try to contact Ensign Kim and was also curious as to the reason there had not been a response. “Tuvok to Kim,” he tried to contact the Ensign thinking that the computer error may have disrupted Tom’s transmission but Harry did not respond.
Using internal sensors Tuvok scanned the area of the main computer core and found that there were two comm. signals coming from the area, Ensign Seska’s and Ensign Kim’s.
End Part 9
Disclaimer: All the Star Trek characters are Paramount’s. I don’t own them (yet). ;)
Archiving: Please do, but tell me! firstname.lastname@example.org
Author’s note: And now back to my favourite genre! Drama/Action/Adventure, Alternate Universe!! Mwa-ha ha ha haaa!! J
Tom ran through the corridor Harry had gone through only a few minutes earlier. He reached the computer room in record time but his progress was thwarted as he nearly ran into the doors to the room. He ordered the computer to open the door but it responded that there was an internal error.
Wedging his fingers between the seal of sliding doors Tom forced them open knowing that once it was open far enough the door’s mechanism would pull them all the way apart.
The lights were not functioning when Tom walked cautiously into the room. Some light from the hallway illuminated the room but it was not enough to see clearly what was lurking inside.
“Harry!” Tom called out hoping that the Ensign would respond. It took him a few minutes to thoroughly search the area but he found nothing. “Computer what’s the location of Ensign Kim?”
‘Unknown,’ was the response.
“That doesn’t help,” Tom mumbled as he walked out of the room. “Computer how many site-to-site transports have there been in the last five minutes?”
“Where did it originate?”
‘Deck six, section B-6.’
“What’s the destination?”
Tom sighed in frustration. Did the computer feel like being difficult? He didn’t spend any more time contemplating that question. Harry was in trouble and he had to help him.
“Janeway to Paris,” Tom’s commbadge chirped.
“What?” Tom responded rather rudely as he walked purposefully through the corridor to the nearest turbolift.
“You’re needed in forward navigation. The ships course had been altered and nothing we try on the bridge is working.” Janeway ignored Tom’s sharp tone knowing that he was under quite a bit of stress.
“I can’t do that right now Captain, Ensign Kim is in danger and I believe our traitor is with him,” Tom explained. “If we find her we can get the information we need and undo what she’s done.”
On the bridge Chakotay and Janeway glanced at each other wondering to whom Tom was referring to.
“Who are we looking for, Tom?” Janeway inquired.
“Ensign Seska. Paris out.”
Tom went to main engineering; If he wanted to take over the ship he’d do it from there or the bridge. Seska was and engineer so she’d be familiar with the layout and the systems. Engineers were working at various stations and everything looked in order when Tom arrived.
Tom moved to a station and accessed internal sensors. He soon found that they were not functioning properly either. He went into his personal database and implemented a few programs and modifications to the system. A few seconds later sensors were back on line and better than before. Tom ran a scan for Ensign Kim’s comm. signal.
“What are you doing?” Tom turned and saw B’Elanna coming towards him.
“Looking for someone,” was all he said and went back top interpreting his results.
“What is this?” Torres asked not recognizing what was being displayed on the screen. There was a small symbol at the top left corner that she didn’t recognize. Before she could ask another question Tom walked away from the station looking up at the higher level. He was looking for something but she didn’t know what.
“Tom, what are you doing?” Torres said forcefully, not to be ignored again.
“Looking for Harry.” He was still looking at the upper level. Tom ran to the lift to take him to the next level and was joined by Torres. Harry was her friend and if he was in trouble, she wanted to help.
The lift seemed to ascend too slowly. Every second that passed was another second that Harry was in the care of Seska. As the second level came into view they saw Seska working at a console in a secluded corner.
As the lift stopped there was a slight clicking sound that Seska easily heard alerting her to their presence. She glance over and her eye’s locked with Tom for a moment before she picked up her weapon hauled as dazed Ensign Kim from the floor. She positioned him in front of her, using his body as a shield.
Tom took out the phaser he had taken from the bridge and aimed it at her while Seska aimed her weapon at Tom. Tom didn’t dare shoot. Seska was well protected by Harry’s position and Tom didn’t want to risk hitting him.
“Give it up Seska,” Tom yelled. He wanted the people on the lower level to hear him.
“You wouldn’t hurt your dear friend,” Seska spat at him.
“You don’t know me,” Tom said. He saw Harry’s eyes widen slightly. Harry didn’t know that if Tom was going to take the risk and try and hit Seska, he would have done it already.
Tom stood there silently for a full minute. He, Harry, B’Elanna and Seska could hear the commotion on the lower level as security was summoned to the main engineering.
“I can wait Seska,” Tom said with an evil smile.
Seska reached out and touched another button on the console near her. Suddenly the ship lurched and both Tom and B’Elanna were thrown against the guardrail. B’Elanna managed to keep herself from tumbling over it but Tom was not so lucky. As he fell over the edge he managed to grab the edge of the rail with one arm. Pain ripped through his left shoulder as he strained to maintain his hold.
Out of the corner of his eye Tom saw Seska push Harry away from her and call for a site-to-site transport. Tom raised his right arm and fired at her from his dangling position but the blast of energy only hit her dematerialized particles.
“Damn it,” he cursed. Tom looked down. It wasn’t *that* far to the lower level. He released his grip and he fell to the lower level of engineering. He landed in a crouched position without causing further injury to himself. Standing he rubbed his left shoulder.
“Harry, you okay?” Tom called not looking up.
“Yeah, I think so,” Harry responded as he rubbed the spot on his head where Seska had hit him to knock him out. The gesture was made slightly awkward as Seska had bound his wrist together.
“I need you to finish your work on the sensors,” Tom said as he walked to the main exit.
“Where are you going?” Harry asked.
“To get some payback,” Tom said as he left. B’Elanna and Harry looked at each other wondering what he intended on doing.
“Bridge to Engineering,” Janeway’s voice rang throughout main engineering. “What’s going on down there?”
“Seska did something to our systems,” Torres said as she walked to the console that Seska had been using a few moments earlier. “I’m locked out of the propulsion systems and our speed is increasing.”
Harry was looking over her shoulder and saw the destination. “Captain, we’re on a rendezvous course with the nearest Kazon cruiser,” Harry supplied.
Janeway was relieved to here Harry’s voice as were the others on the bridge that were aware of his earlier plight. “Understood. Lieutenant, do what ever you can. Ensign, we need you on the bridge,”
“Aye Capatin,” Torres and Kim said simultaneously. The channel closed and Torres went straight to work.
“Hey, Maquis,” Harry interrupted her. She looked at him. Harry raised his wrists and displayed the security bindings that Seska had used on him. “A little help.”
Tom arrived at forward navigation. His priorities changed once he heard that Voyager was heading towards a Kazon ship. His hunt for Seska was on hold for now. He had to help get Voyager out of immediate danger first.
In forward navigation Tom and other officers worked diligently but there progress was not a good reflection of their effort. They had managed to do little, only adjusting Voyager’s course slightly and a few minutes after they did that the course was changed back to the Seska’s. Tom and several others noticed.
“Who did that?” Tom asked and looked around at the officers. No one responded. Tom went back to his console. There were only a few places on the ship which are capable of altering Voyager’s course without significant modification: engineering, the bridge, forward navigation and auxiliary engine control on deck thirteen.
Cheking with the computer Tom was able to confirm that there was a Bajoran lifesign in the room which was always locked down except during emergencies.
“Computer reroute forty gigawatts to station AEC-03,” Tom ordered.
‘Rerouting forty gigawatts of power to AEC-03 presents severe risk of injury and damage-‘
“Override: Tom-gamma-2.” The computer chirped in response and Tom watched with his arms crossed as the computer indicated that console AEC-03 was severely damaged.
“Paris to transporter room one. Medical emergency,” Tom said not sounding at all distressed or concerned, “transport the person in auxiliary engine control to sickbay.”
“Aye sir,” the transporter chief responded.
“Paris to Janeway. Seska’s in sickbay,” Tom informed her.
“We’ll meet you there.” Janeway said and closed the commlink.
Tom arrived in Sickbay and found that Janeway, Chakotay, Tuvok and two security officers were already there. Janeway nodded at him and they watched for a few more minutes as the Doc treated Seska’s burns.
“I’ve treated the burns and made a few interesting discoveries along the way,” the Doctor told those assembled.
“What kind of discoveries?” Chakotay asked.
“Ensign Seska here is not Bajoran.” The doctor saw the various degrees of scepticism on the faces of those before him. “Before you ask, no, I’m not mistaken. Her blood contains none of the usual Bajoran blood indicators and no medical procedure or illness can account for that drastic a finding.”
“If she’s not Bajoran then what?” Chakotay asked as a deluge of emotion threatened to overcome him.
“According to dormant the base pairs sequences I’ve found, I believe she is actually Cardassian.” All eyes in the room focused on the unconscious form on the biobed in the blue sickbay robe. Cardassian?
“Wake her,” Janeway ordered, more than ready to get to the bottom of this mystery.
Against his better judgment the Doctor complied. He presses a hypospray to Seska’s neck and a few seconds later Seska’s eyes slowly opened. It took her a moment to remember what had happened but when she did she bolted upright in the bed only to be greeted by three phasers aimed at her; Two from the security guards and one from Tuvok.
“Seska,” the Doctor greeted and stepped away to let the command officers do their job.
Seska looked at the officers assembled. When she saw Tom she knew he was the one responsible for her console overloading. Tom smirked slightly and managed to further infuriate the pseudo-Bajoran.
“Seska, tell me how to get past the lock out,” Janeway demanded.
The other woman gave her a cold laugh. “I won’t be ordered around by a weak human such as you.”
“Seska, do it,” Chakotay said with cold anger in his voice.
“And you, listening to this” she waved a hand at the Captain. “What happened to the strong Maquis Captain that I used to know? Now you’re nothing but another ‘fleet lackey.” She tilted her head to the side and took a better look at her former Captain. “I don’t know what I ever saw in you.”
“Seska, it’s over. Let’s end this now,” Janeway said.
“It’s only begun, Captain.” Seksa practically spat.
“Kim to Janeway.”
“Go ahead,” Janeway replied not breaking eye contact with Seska.
“The sensors have been faulty all this time. I’ve managed to reverse the changes and the nearest Kazon vessel is almost within weapons range and several others are thirty minutes away,” Harry announced.
“Any progress with navigation?”
“Raise shields and charge weapons,” Janeway ordered. Kim acknowledged and then closed the link.
“I told you Captain, it’s only just begun,” Seska said. She looked to Tom, “Especially for you.” Before anybody could ask what she was babbling about Seska addressed the computer. “Initiate Seska-8-3-3-1.”
Voyager’s computer recognized the command and carried it out. Transporters were engaged, targeting sensors locked onto Seska and Tom and transported them off the ship.
“Computer override: Janeway-lambda-pi.” She hoped to stop the tranports in progress.
‘Unable to comply.’ The computer intoned in its hollow voice.
They watched helplessly as their traitor and their liberator vanished in the sparkling blue of the transporter beam.
“Kim to Janeway, Seska and Tom have been transported off the ship to the Kazon vessel off our port bow. The Kazon vessels retreating and full navigational control has been returned. Should we pursue?” Harry asked wanting to go after them but knowing that with the threat of over half a dozen Kazon vessels approaching they would not survive long if they did.
Janeway made the hard decision. “No, lay in an escape route and engage at maximum warp when ready.”
There was no reply for a few seconds as Harry kept himself from protesting. “Aye Captain,” was the fairly terse reply.
“Tom Paris, I presume,” Maj Cullah said as he circled Tom. His arms were bound behind him and there were four armed security personnel in the room along with Seska who was shooting him an irritating smile.
Tom didn’t respond to the Maj’s question. Cullah not being a patient man lashed out and punched Tom in the stomach with all his might. Tom double over and collapsed to one knee.
“You will respond when I ask you a question,” Cullah informed the half-human who glared up at him defiantly. “I have many questions for you. You managed to take Voyager from us and you will get it back for us,” Cullah said.
Without warning Tom tackled Cullah to the ground. Tom was up first and stepped on the Kazon’s neck restricting his breathing. The Kazon guards had their weapons raised and would have shot Tom but Seska stopped them. She wanted Cullah to know that this being stronger than he looked.
“You won’t get anything from me,” Tom hissed.
“You forget who’s in charge here Paris,” Seska said. “I can have you killed with a snap of my fingers.” Tom looked over his shoulder and glared at her for a few moments. Tom could feel Cullah squirming underneath his foot. Tom stepped off his neck letting Cullah breath the air his lungs were no doubt burning for.
“Very good, Paris,” Seska congratulated with a triumphant smirk. She grabbed one of the guard’s disruptors and without provocation she fired it at Tom. The blast hit him squarely on the chest and he fell to the ground struggling to stay conscious.
Seska walked over to him and crouched down so Tom could see her. His sight was failing him as the darkness started to constrict his field of vision. The last thing he saw was Seska’s Bajoran face.
“I’ll break you Mr. Paris, just like we broke your father.”
Everything went black and Tom was left to the mercy of the Kazon and mercy was something they had not intention of showing him.
Hours later on Voyager the senior staff was assembled in the conference room. They had secured the ship’s systems and out ran the Kazon, so they were fairly safe. The most pressing issue right now was Tom.
“We have to go after him.” Harry said.
“That is inadvisable.” Tuvok said. “We are out numbered. While Voyager possesses superior weaponry and shielding, we cannot successfully rescue Mr. Paris alone.”
“Then we’ll get some help,” Janeway said. “I won’t let the Kazon take a member of my crew.” All around the table understood the implication of her last words. Tom had accepted Janeway’s offer and was now officially part of Voyager’s crew. “Janeway to Neelix, report to the briefing room immediately.”
“Aye Captain,” came Neelix’s eager response.
“We’ll need every advantage we can get to rescue Tom,” Janeway continued.
“Tom has a database full of programs and other information that we might be able to use,” Harry announced to the group.
“I thought it was encrypted.” Chakotay said.
“He decrypted some of it when we were trying to find who was sabotaging Voyager,” said Kim. “It’s probably still decrypted. I might be able to get into more of it with some luck.”
End Part 10
Short chapter, I know. Still more to come so stick around! email@example.com
Disclaimer: All the Star Trek characters are Paramount’s. I don’t own them (yet). ;)
Archiving: Please do, but tell me! firstname.lastname@example.org
Author’s note: And now back to my favourite genre! Drama/Action/Adventure, Alternate Universe!! Mwa-ha ha ha haaa!! J ((=/=)) marks flashbacks
“He’s too young to be here,” Sobey said unhappily. The two men next to him looked at him curiously.
“I think maybe you’re too young to be here.” The oldest of the trio said.
Sobey lapsed into silence and they went back to watching the combat exercise going on in front of them. In the combat area was young Tom Paris. He was only eighteen years old but was already a field agent. His age created some unrest among the other operatives who were reluctant to have Tom on their team during assignments but he had proved himself time and time again. He was a little head strong and only listened to a few people but he had more potential than most of the officers.
Tom was currently brushing up on his hand-to-hand combative skills. Kail had decided that Tom needed some more practice when observing him on one of the rare assignments they had together. In this exercise Tom was defending against multiple attackers and was doing an admirable job.
At the side Kail, Sobey and Pasel watched. Kail shook his head silently. This scenario wasn’t addressing Tom’s area of weakness. Tom rarely sustained a blow from these attackers but he returned from the assignment with several injuries.
The problem with Tom’s fighting technique was that he relied too much on seeing his opponents, knowing where they were and how many there were to defend against them. If a there was one person that joined the fight late, or that Tom didn’t see, his technique was nearly useless. He relied too much on seeing and tended to ignore other warnings that couldn’t be seen. In this exercise however Tom was able to see all of his assailants and could defend against them with ease.
Sobey also knew of Tom’s weakness and decided to teach him a lesson. He picked up a wooden staff and stepped onto the combat floor. Kail and Pasel watched silently, knowing what Sobey intended to do. It wouldn’t be pretty but Tom would learn the lesson.
Tom had his back to Sobey as he entered the combat area. Had Tom been paying closer attention to his other senses he may have heard Sobey approaching or felt the footsteps but he didn’t and thus could not defend against the attack.
Gripping one end of the staff with both hands, Sobey raised the wooden weapon and brought it down on Tom’s back with as much force as he could supply. The blow broke the staff into pieces and Tom briefly cried out when the staff connected with his back.
Tom fell to his knees but managed to remain upright despite the pain. Looking over his shoulder Tom saw Sobey standing over him. Blue locked with black and the air between them froze with the tension.
“You son-of-a-bitch,” Tom hissed as he got up.
Sobey studied the handle of the broken weapon in his hand before dropping it carelessly on the floor. “Tell me, did that hurt?” He asked, not a note of concern in his voice.
“Let me show you!” Tom said as he lunged for Sobey. Sobey was ready to defend.
“Enough!” Pasel yelled and both young men stopped. Despite their aversion towards each other they both deeply respected Pasel. “Sal, Thomas, this is unnecessary and I won’t watch you tear each other apart for no reason.”
“I have a perfect reason,” Sobey protested. “Thomas doesn’t belong here.”
Tom glared at Sobey for several moments and the room was silent as everyone waited for his reaction. Tom stepped closer to Sobey and looked into his eyes.
“I’ve heard those words often and from many people since I was four years old.” He said with quiet anger. “I didn’t listen them and I won’t listen to you.” A few seconds later Tom walked away leaving a stunned group of onlookers. All except two had been expecting a massive battle between Sobey and Tom. Kail and Pasel had known otherwise.
Tom silently left the room, ignoring the looks. A few moments later Kail followed him.
“You’re dismissed!” Pasel informed the other officers. The others started to clear the area but Sobey didn’t move knowing that Pasel had something to say to him. The old betazoid walked over to the younger one.
“Sal, you’ve hurt him but he won’t let it show.” Pasel enlightened.
“I didn’t sense anything from him,” Sobey said and only now realized how strange that was. From most people he could feel something due to his telepathic and empathic abilities but from Tom there was nothing.
“You have to look harder. He only lets you see what you want to see, nothing more and nothing less.” Pasel started towards the exit. “I’ve tried.”
“Tried what?” Sobey jogged to catch up with the older man.
“I tried to know him. There is a great pain in him that he keeps hidden, even from himself and nothing I did, nothing I said could unlock that secret. I can’t do anymore.”
Sobey was understandably confused but Pasel didn’t attempt to explain.
“One day you’ll be in my position. How do humans put it? So close yet so far away.”
“Don’t trouble yourself trying to understand.” Pasel said he stopped walking and faced his son. “When the time comes you’ll understand.” Pasel smiled softly and lay a hand on his son’s shoulder.
A year and a half later….
Tom walked to Sobey’s quarters in the building. Sobey hadn’t shown up for the training that day and Kail had sent Tom to check up on the betazoid. Sobey and Tom were still not the best of friends but Kail still held some belief that they could be friends if they worked past the initial hostilities. Tom rolled his eyes at the thought. He and Sobey agreed on little. The one place where their feelings had been similar had passed on a few weeks ago.
Pasel, Sobey’s father was dead. Old age had finally taken its toll and he died peacefully in his sleep. Sobey was still grieving the loss of his father and Tom could understand his heartache. He had gone through the same thing when his mother had died.
Memories of the night Merra had died crept up on Tom but he ignored them and continued towards Sobey’s quarters. Just the brief memory of her passing was enough to make his eyes water as he remembered the fear, the sorrow and the isolation. At least Pasel passed peacefully, though Tom knew that would come as little consolation for Sobey.
Tom rang the chime and waited for a response. There was nothing so he rang it again.
“Go away,” Tom heard Sobey say. Tom decided to do just the opposite.
“What is wrong with you?” Sobey said angrily as he watched Tom walk into his private domain. “Didn’t you here me?” Sobey was seated in a chair facing the window. He stared heavenward where no star could be seen through the clouded sky.
“Yes, I did.”
“Then get out!” Sobey yelled.
“You can’t order me around,” Tom reminded in an annoying manner.
Sobey regarded Tom for a few moments before looking away.
“It’ll hurt for a long time,” Tom said as he sat down backwards on the chair, his arms resting on the backrest.
“How would you know?” Sobey asked.
“Experience,” was the reply.
“You’ve lost someone?” Sobey said and Tom nodded silently. “It’ll never stop.” Sobey said sorrowfully.
“Some days will be better than other. On a good day you’ll be able to think of him and smile. As time goes on those good days will become more frequent.” Tom wasn’t really speaking from experience here, for him the ‘more frequent good days’ was reality he hoped he could someday experience.
There was silence in the room for a few minutes as Sobey tried to reconcile with Tom’s words. How many good days had he had in the past weeks. Another thought occurred to Sobey, how many good days had Tom had in the past years.
“Your mother, Merra,” Sobey mentioned her name and waited for Tom’s reaction.
After a few seconds Tom responded, “What about her?”
Sobey looked at Tom. For the first time, he had felt something from the half Fieran. Unfortunately, it was only sorrow and pain. He had only felt the emotions for a brief instant before Tom pushed it away and responded.
“You don’t seem to be coping very well,” Sobey said in what he hoped was a neutral tone.
“I’m hoping that you’ll do better than I did –than I am.” Tom corrected. “Kail was there for me even when he had lost someone dear to him. If you’d accept my help without throwing too many insults, then I hope I can be there for you too.” Tom’s offer surprised himself. Why would he help somebody who he didn’t even like? Maybe it was because Tom understood what Sobey was going through. Whatever the reason, Tom had made the offer and he would not go back on his word.
Silence followed and Tom left the room silently knowing that there would be times when Sobey would want to be alone.
Sobey heard him leave but didn’t move from his position. He stayed there for several minutes, staring at the ominous grey clouds until a small gap appeared and a single star shone through. It was faint but it was there. Sobey remembered when he would go star gazing with his father when he was a child. He remembered how the celestial bodies would calm him, centre him and he smiled. Maybe this would be the beginning of one of those good days Tom spoke of.
A slight feeling of guilt surfaced in Sobey and he glance at the doors that Tom had walked through when he left. Had Tom ever had a good day? All sources pointed to no, but Sobey hoped to change that. Tom had helped him and Sobey intended to do the same for Tom. Something about his mother’s death greatly troubled him and that was at the heart of his pain.
A few days later…
“Couldn’t sleep,” Tom replied.
It was past 0300 and Tom had been sitting alone in the galley for the past hour and a half. Sleep had evaded him that night and he wandered the complex until he found himself in the galley were he replicated himself a warm beverage and sat alone in the darkness.
“You mind if I sit here?” Sobey gestured to the chair on the other side of the table.
Tom raised his foot and rested it on the chair, effectively occupying it. Sobey was slightly amused by the gesture but not deterred. The table sat four and Sobey pulled out another chair and sat down. Tom glared at him.
“Well you only have two feet. You can’t occupy all the chairs.” Sobey said.
“What the hell do you want?” the temperamental adolescent asked.
“Bad day, huh?” Sobey asked after a momentary pause but Tom stayed silent, knowing what type of bad day he was referring to.
“You have no idea….
Another blow to his head and his vision became blurry. Tom was standing in a dull room with a few weapons mounted on the wall for decoration. Around him were a few Kazon including Maj Cullah and then there was Seska. She had a smile plastered on her face and if it weren’t for the disrupters aimed at him, Tom would have taken great pleasure in making her mood less cheerful.
Maj Cullah paced around him asking question after question. What are Voyager’s shield frequencies? What are Voyager’s weaknesses? How can we gain access to the ships computer? What type of weaponry is Voyager equipped with? Where is Voyager heading? All these and many more were asked over and over again and each time the answer was the same: silence.
Tom had stopped listening long ago. He would never give the Kazon any information about Voyager; not its size, not even the colour. Vaguely Tom heard Cullah ask another question. He knew what would come next; Cullah would try to ‘persuade’ Tom to answer but his fists weren’t all that persuasive.
“Are you listening to me?” Cullah yelled at the prisoner.
Before Tom could hold his tongue he responded, “Pardon.” Tom was rewarded for his rudeness with a few blows to his face and stomach. Hunched over, his knees about to give out from under him, Tom couldn’t help but let out a slight laugh.
“What do you find so funny?” Seska asked.
“You,” Tom responded as he tried to control his breathing. “I can’t figure out why you would betray your friends and your comrades for theses idiots.”
“That’s for me to know,” Seska responded. She turned to Cullah. “This isn’t working. Let me employ my expertise and I’ll get him to talk,” she speared Tom with a cruel gaze, “but first, I’ll make him scream.”
On Voyager the crew worked on repairs and others worked on rescuing their captured crewman. There was little that they could do without a plan. In Tom’s quarters Ensign Harry Kim was working at Tom’s desk terminal. Harry found that this was the best place to access Tom’s database. He hoped to find something or anything that would help them save Tom. There was no doubt in Harry’s mind that there was something that could help.
So far Harry had found some information and some programs with various purposes. Unfortunately much of the database was still encrypted but what Harry had found so far was promising. Too bad he hadn’t found a way to decrypt the rest of the information.
Harry let out a tired sigh as his last attempt to retrieve a file failed. He decided to give up on that area of the database for now and moved to a different one. Skimming through the file headings, many of which were scrambled due to the encryption, Harry came across a file titled ‘ETFx’. Curiosity gripped the young Ensign and he decided to look through the file.
When he accessed the file a symbol that Kim didn’t recognized appeared on the screen briefly and then vanished leaving a menu on the screen. The headings read: INFO, M.S., CONTACTS, DRESS, UTILITIES and the other heading were scrambled, as that information had not been decrypted.
The only link that worked was the one labelled, UTILITIES. Maybe there was a device in there that they could use Harry thought.
In the corridor outside Tom’s quarters Lt. Torres approached the door. She didn’t bother ringing the chime. She keyed in the access code and walked in. Harry was totally focussed on the information on the screen and hadn’t heard B’Elanna enter. She walked over to Harry and looked at what was displayed on the screen. She again noticed the symbol on the top left corner.
“Harry, what’s this?” Torres asked.
Kim nearly jumped out of his skin when he heard her. “B’Elanna, don’t do that,” he said as he tried to slow his heart rate.
She gave him a slight smile and again inquired about the information on the screen.
“I’m not entirely sure. I found it in Tom’s database. Unfortunately there’s still a lot that needs to be decrypted.”
“I may be able to help with that. I found an algorithm that can decrypt some of the information.” B’Elanna implemented the algorithm and she and Harry watched as some of the scrambled information became intelligible. “I hope Tom doesn’t mind us snooping around.”
“When we get him back he can chew us out in person.” Harry said.
For minutes they skimmed through the information but none of it made much sense to them. There were short-forms and acronyms used just about everywhere and they could not understand what was being said. Finally they came across some information that might be useful to them.
“Wait, look at this.” B’Elanna points to something on the screen.
“Two way transmission unit.” Harry looked through more of the information. “Standard on all Fleet uniforms and flight suits.” Harry read directly from the screen.
They read more of the information from the screen and it informed them that the transmission unit worked on a low subspace frequency and bandwidth. It was for short-range communication, no more than a two light year distance. The good thing about it was that the transmission was nearly undetectable unless you knew exactly what bandwidth to search for.
Kim and Torres came up with the same idea at the same time. Tom always wore his usual dark ensemble, on and off duty. Maybe it was equipped with the transmitter as well.
They’d have to find a way to boost the signal confinement so that it would work over a longer distance and find the frequency that Tom’s transmitter would be at. It wasn’t much, but it was a start.
Seska paced around her uncooperative victim. It had been nearly a week since she and Tom had been transported off Voyager and three days since Seska had started her own method of persuasion. Tom had not been given anything to eat since he had arrived nor anything to drink. He no longer felt hungry, now it was a constant pain in his midsection. He could feel himself getting weaker by the day. He had slept for maybe five hours in since his arrival on the Kazon ship and the pain that his captors relentlessly inflicted on him only made it worse.
Tom was strapped into a chair in a fairly small room. His hands were tied together behind the backrest of the uncomfortable chair and his ankles were strapped to the legs of the chair.
Seska observed her prisoner as she waited for her latest chemical concoction to mix into his bloodstream. The left side of his face was bloodied and bruised. His hair was wet with perspiration and every so often as slight tremor would run through his limbs, no doubt the effects of her other acts of torture.
Tom’s head was hanging forward and his unfocussed gaze rested in his lap. He could hardly think straight. His head was still ringing from the blows he had taken and for the past four hours Seska had been pressing hypospray after hypospray to his neck. Each chemical was worse than the next and Tom was slowly loosing his grip on what was real and what were delusions from the compounds floating around in his body.
“Well Mr. Paris, or is it Mr. Corrin, whichever, how are you feeling?” Seska asked. The words seemed to echo around in Tom’s head and he had difficulty comprehending her question. Seska grew impatient and walked towards him. She grabbed the hair on the top of his head and forced Tom to look at her. “How are you feeling?” her voice was harsh and angry.
His lips and throat were dry but Tom managed to respond. “I’m not quite sure. Why don’t you try some?”
She let go of his hair and his head fell back to where it had been before. She glared at him wondering why it wasn’t working. She walked of the room and spoke with the guards outside.
Seska didn’t know that her serums and concoctions were working but Tom had been trained to resist the effects. Still he felt their influence and they were becoming increasingly more difficult to ignore. He could almost feel his grip on reality slipping away and if that happened he was done for.
Should he forget why he was here and what he was fighting for he would lose the battle against Seska and he may also loose his mind. He needed something to keep him grounded, something to remind him of his purpose. He wanted to survive but he would need help to do so.
Captain Janeway walked to the upper command console in engineering where her chief engineer and head of operations had practically lived for the past day. She saw Ensign Kim at the station but it didn’t look like he was working. When she got closer she understood why. The young officer had fallen asleep at the console. He was in a precarious position on the chair and resting against the console and Janeway was careful not to startle him when she came near.
“Ensign,” Janeway said softly. Harry didn’t respond. “Harry, wake up.” With a hand on his shoulder she gently shook him and he roused from his slumber.
He was disoriented at first but he perked up and tried to look awake when he saw the Captain.
“It’s alright Harry. Go get some rest,” Janeway suggested.
“I need to finish this. Tom needs our help,” Kim said as he tried to return to his work but his brain was a little sluggish.
“I’ll continue with your work while you take a break.” Harry paused and just stared at the console while he contemplated what his next move should be. “We’ll get him back Ensign. I have not intention of leaving him behind.”
Harry nodded and got up from the station. A few hours of sleep would clear his mind. Kathryn sat down in the seat that Harry had just vacated and looked over what he, B’Elanna and the other engineers had accomplished so far.
Twelve more hours had passed and Tom had been quietly suffering through the effects of Seska’s drugs and the assaults he took from the Kazon. Cullah and the other Kazon had tired of Seska’s method since they were not getting any results. They reverted back to the old way of doing things.
Tom’s arms were above his head as they had place restraints around his wrists and hung them from a chain attached to the ceiling. The wrist restraints were equipped with small blades that would cut into Tom’s skin if too much pressure was applied against them. His ankles were also shackled to the floor further restricting his ability to move. With his arms raised and his feet restrained Tom had no way to defend himself. He had been standing there for hours and his strength had nearly deserted him. He could feel the blades digging into his wrists but even that pain was not enough to move him.
When the blows finally halted and Cullah announced that they would continue in the morning Tom felt as if he had won a small battle. They hadn’t broken him and he hadn’t given in.
The guard practically dragged Tom to his cell. They deposited him on the floor and left without words. Tom lay there for nearly half an hour before moving. He crawled to the far corner and sat facing the entrance.
Everywhere hurt. Sometime it felt like the pain alone would kill him. His skin felt like it was crawling, his head was spinning, his ears were ringing, his blood was burning and he was alone. The forced isolation was almost too much. The four dark walls of the cell were not at all comforting and Tom could feel some claustrophobic tendencies creeping up on him. He had to stay calm but it was hard to concentrate.
‘Tom…’ a voice seemed to whisper to him. Tom looked around the cell but saw no one. Where was the voice coming from? Was he loosing his mind?
‘Tom…’ There it was again.
“Who’s there?” Tom asked. His voice was harsh and the words were barely a whisper. Again he heard his name but there was nobody around. The voice was vaguely familiar but Tom was too confused to place it.
‘Hang on Tom…’ the voice whispered again.
‘Remember what I told you all the time,’ the voice began.
“Often what’s right in front of you can’t be seen,” Tom ended
‘Use your other senses,…..listen.’ the voice began to fade. ‘Tom….Tom…..Tom are you there?……..
The voice was changing.
‘Tom, please respond….” Another voice Tom recognized.
Meanwhile on Voyager the bridge was silent as they desperately waited for a response. Captain Janeway sat in the big chair with Commander Cahkotay to her left. Tuvok and Torres manned their respective stations. Torres monitored the main deflector while Harry did the talking.
“Tom, are you there?” he paused and waited for a response. “Tom, please respond.”
End Part 11
Mwa ha ha ha ha! More to come, so stay tuned! You know the routine: email@example.com
Disclaimer: All the Star Trek characters are Paramount’s. I don’t own them (yet). ;)
Archiving: Please do, but tell me! firstname.lastname@example.org
Author’s note: And now back to my favourite genre! Drama/Action/Adventure, Alternate Universe!! Mwa-ha ha ha haaa!! :) ((=/=)) marks flashbacks, beginning and end.
Tom scrambled to find the communication device on his uniform. Hopefully it hadn’t been damaged during his interrogation. He found what he was looking for and pressed the small button so that he could respond.
“Tom, if you can hear me, respond,” Harry pleaded.
“I’m here,” Tom said.
On the other side of the transmission Harry smiled when he heard Tom’s voice. It sounded different, weaker, but at least he was alive. They weren’t too late.
“Tom, are you alright?” Captain Janeway asked. There was a pause before a response came.
Janeway didn’t like the sound of that response. “Hold on Tom. We’re coming for you.”
“Don’t,” Tom interrupted. “No offence intended, but not even Voyager stands a chance against a dozen Kazon ships. They may not be the smartest of people but collectively they have an army and…about half a brain.”
“Who are you talking to?” A guard yelled through the door when he heard Tom.
“My imaginary friend,” Tom scoffed. The guard stayed there for a few seconds before walking away. “Those would be my gracious hosts.” Tom informed.
Suddenly static came over the channel and Tom’s last words were garbled. Janeway looked to Ensign Kim wondering what was happening.
“I’m loosing the signal,” Harry said as he tried to boost the confinement.
“Tom, can you hear me?” Janeway asked. There was a response but it was unintelligible. “Hold on Tom. We’ll get you back.”
“The transmissions been lost,” Harry announced.
“What happened,” Chakotay inquired as he joined Harry at his station.
“I’m not sure. We encountered some sort of interference and it dispersed our signal.”
“Look into it,” Janeway ordered. Harry nodded and continued with his work. “Commander.” Janeway gestured for Chakotay to follow her to the Ready Room. The doors slid shut separating the two officers form the bridge.
There was a moment of silence as Janeway collected her thoughts. Chakotay’s response to her question will either ease her worries or heighten them.
“Do you think she’ll kill him?” Janeway asked and Chakotay knew to whom the Captain was referring to.
“I don’t know.” Chakotay looked down at the floor. “I don’t really know her. I thought I did but….Cardassian?” Words failed him. How could someone he had been so close to be the enemy?
“Don’t blame yourself Chakotay. Nobody suspected her.”
Chakotay shook his head. “Sobey suspected her and so did Tom.” The room was quiet for a few seconds as they both berated themselves for letting Seska deceive them. “Anyway, regarding Tom,” Chakotay began knowing he could continue his self-recrimination himself later, “he’ll no doubt be uncooperative and the Kazon won’t be patient with him.”
“Torture,” Janeway stated.
“I’m thinking the same thing.”
“Cardassians are well versed in those areas.” Janeway couldn’t help remembering what had happened to Owen. She couldn’t let that happen to his son as well.
“I don’t think Tom will break all that easily but his body can only stand so much,” Chakotay said. “If they don’t get impatient and just kill him then what ever they’re doing to him likely will.”
“Somehow we have to find a way to get him out.” Janeway tried to think of something but she was at a loss.
“Has Neelix found anybody willing to help us?”
Janeway shook her head. “No one. But Neelix has found reason why. It seems the Kazon had gone around looking for information on Tom. Nobody is willing to go against the Kazon.”
“Then we’ll have to do it ourselves,” Chakotay said with determination.
“Easier said than done.”
“Well,” Torres asked impatiently.
“There was a solar flare in a system along the transmission path and the particles released interfered with the transmission,” Harry said as he analysed the sensor readings.
“How long will its effects last?” Torres asked.
“The effects of that particular flare have already passed, but there have been more. That star must be going through some internal changes,” Harry hypothesized.
“So basically our one chance to contact Tom has been terminated.”
“We’d have to move around the star but those areas are hostile and we can’t risked it.”
“There has to be something we can do!”
“Back to the database,” Harry said as he left his station. B’Elanna followed.
Early the next day Tom was being given some special treatment by Cullah’s thugs. Hardly able to move, Tom was defenceless against the blows and had not choice but to weather each one as it came.
“That’s enough for now,” Tierna, one of Cullah’s officers said. The other Kazon filed out of the room. “We’ll be back later. You should be more talkative then.” Teirna said to Tom, although he wasn’t sure the prisoner was still conscious. Teirna left and Tom was once again alone.
His hand had been bound above his head again and more blood was running down his arms. His feet however were not shackled. He could hardly stand so the guards didn’t think that they needed to secure his feet.
He dangled there for and unknown period of time. How many days had passed, he wondered when his mind could form a coherent thought. How many more days until they finally killed him?
The doors opened again providing more illumination to the dim room. Three figures entered and the door was shut behind them. Tom didn’t have the strength to lift his head and look at them but he could see there feet. He recognized the small slender feet of Seska and tensed with the anticipation of what she was going to do next.
“I’m tired of this Paris. Your father was so much easier to break. He’d be clawing at his own flesh right now.” Seska tried to get some sort of reaction from him but Tom remained motionless. “I can make this all stop Tom. Just tell us them what they want to hear.”
“What’s that? That their breath isn’t really that bad,” Tom mumbled. Seska backhanded him. “Maybe not.”
“I see you want to be difficult.”
“I can only be me.”
Seska didn’t waste anymore time. She held out her hand to one of her escorts and he placed a syringe on her palm. “I’ve scoured the Kazon database and found this. On its own, it’s virtually harmless but mixed with the many chemicals already floating in your body….well, let’s just say you’ll wish for deathto claim you, if you haven’t already.” She stepped closer to Tom and plunged the needle in his neck. She emptied the contents of the needle into Tom and almost immediately he felt it.
He let out a blood curdling scream, the likes of they had never heard. It didn’t end until he ran out of breath and even then he remained frozen in agony. His eyes closed in pain and his mouth open but producing no sound.
“I’ll leave you to enjoy the sensation.” Seska gave Tom one last look before exiting.
A few seconds later Tom’s body relaxed although the pain was still there as bad as ever and it seemed to be getting worse. His chest heaved, his body craving oxygen and through the gasps he croaked a broken plea for mercy.
“Make it stop….”
Harry flipped a data-chip in his hand idly while he waited for the Captain to arrive at Tom’s quarters. He had noticed the datachip with ‘2 KIM’ marked on it laying on the floor near the desk. It had probably fallen off the desk during the battle with the Kazon. Harry wondered what was it. He hadn’t gathered the nerve to see what Tom had put on it. In the meantime he had found some information on Tom’s database that he thought the Captain should know about.
“Ensign Kim,” Janeway greeted as she entered the room, “What is it that you wanted me to see?”
“This,” Harry said and he pressed a button on the desk terminal. The screen changed to display a symbol that Janeway thought she recognized but couldn’t place. A second later the screen changed again.
‘Elite Tactical Fleet’ was printed across the top of the document.
“Much of the document is still encrypted but from what I’ve managed to decode, Tom is a member of this organization, though I don’t know what they do,” said Kim.
Kathryn examined the file trying to put the pieces together, but not all of them fit. This bit of information helped to explain a few things but not everything. “Is there any more?” she inquired.
“No, the rest is more heavily encoded. What do you think all this is about?” the young officer asked.
“I’m not sure,” Janeway said softly before leaving.
Harry browsed the document once more before closing it and continuing his search for something to help free Tom. Nearly an hour later his efforts were rewarded. He practically ran from Tom’s quarters heading to engineering. He had to tell B’Elanna of his findings. They might have a chance to rescue Tom.
B’Elanna shook her head as she walked to another console to check the warp core. Harry followed behind her describing the information that he had found. He was hopeful that it would work but Torres was more realistic. The plan didn’t have a chance.
“Harry!” B’Elanna interrupted him. “I’m sorry but it can’t be done. It would require major modifications and we just don’t have the resources on Voyager. Not only that but the technology doesn’t even sound compatible with Starfleet systems.”
Harry stared at the carpeted floor looking more than a little crestfallen.
“Voyager’s systems are far to complex to add some experimental device to it.” She used a less harsh voice seeing that Harry was talking the news pretty badly. “We’ll think of something Harry, just be patient.” B’Elanna could hardly believe she was telling Harry to be patient. Usually it was somebody saying that to her.
“He’s running out of time,” Harry said stiffly. “We need to do something.” The frustration in his voice was unmistakeable. Harry regarded the crew that was working around them. They all seemed at ease. Had Tom’s presence been so easily forgotten? They had just spoken with him the day before.
“Harry?” B’Elanna, confused by Harry’s silence tried to get his attention.
Harry looked at B’Elanna. “Nobody seems to care anymore.”
B’Elanna looked at her staff and noticed what Harry had a moment ago. Turning back to Harry she found that he had taken his leave.
“I can’t let you do that, Ensign,”
“The matter is not up for debate,” Chakotay said.
“Just one shuttle-”
“Harry,” Chakotay stopped walking and faced the young officer, “It’s too dangerous.”
“Not half as dangerous as what Tom did to save us,” he argued.
“You’re needed at your post.” Chakotay started walking again and again Harry followed not knowing or caring where Chakotay was heading.
“No, I’m not. I won’t even be missed. It’s not a long trip. In a class two shuttle, going at maximum warp it’ll only take four days.”
“Three and a half,” Chakotay corrected. He was a pilot and was better acquainted with the shuttles. “One shuttle against many Kazon vessels; we wouldn’t stand a chance.”
Harry noted Chakotay’s use of ‘we’ rather than ‘you’. Maybe he wanted to take action as well.
“With a bit of luck, the Kazon won’t even see us,” Harry iterated.
“Luck won’t have anything to do with it,” a third person entered the conversation. Chakotay and Harry looked to the right and saw Lt. Torres standing there with a triumphant smirk on her face.
The senior staff was assembled half an hour later in the conference room. Janeway was hoping for some good news and she would not be disappointed.
Torres began the meeting and described what they had found. The information the Harry had found on Tom’s database had not been as radical as it sounded. Torres had taken a closer look at it and though she had been right about adding the device to Voyager and the incompatibility with Starfleet technology, she had overlooked a simpler craft: Neelix’s freighter.
“The stealth device Harry found should be compatible with the talaxian freighter, with a few modifications,” B’Elanna ended.
“How long would that take?” Janeway asked.
“With a full team working on it, about thirty-six hours,” Torres replied.
“There are numerous risks to consider,” Tuvok said. “There are no guarantees that the stealth device will work on Kazon sensors. It is a dangerous mission-” Torres was about to interrupt him but Tuvok went on, “-that will require the presence of the chief Tactical officer.”
There was an odd silence in the room. No one had expected Tuvok to offer his services to such a reckless mission but the Vulcan had surprised them all.
“Well, we have one volunteer,” Janeway said.
“Make that fourty,” Torres corrected. “The engineering staff wants to help too.” B’Elanna looked at Harry telling him with her eyes that Tom hadn’t been forgotten. “We’ll need to add transporters and an auxiliary power system to the freighter.” Torres said addressing the entire group.
“Replicate what you need,” Janeway gave her approval. A smile crept on her face. Finally they were doing something. Now they had to create a plan of action.
“When we get to the Kazon ship we’ll scan for human-life signs.” Chakotay said.
“No, we have to scan for Fieran biosigns,” Torres said.
“Scan for a hybrid biosign,” Janeway corrected both of them. She had assumed that they, at least, knew of Tom’s mixed heritage.
“Mother’s Fieran; father’s human,” Harry added. Everyone looked at him wondering how he knew. “Tom told me,” he answered the unasked question.
“Anything else we should know?” Torres asked. “Like his real name. Paris or Corrin?”
“Both.” It was Janeway who answered this time. It was strange how they all knew a little bit about Tom but nobody knew everything. It would take all of them to put the puzzle together.
Five days later Neelix’s freighter, equipped with a stealth device, transporters, a new power system, and a few other pieces of hardware and software, arrived at the location of Cullah’s ship. The small crew consisted of Chakotay, Tuvok, Harry and Joe Carey and Ensign Wildman, who had some medical knowledge.
With the stealth cloak activated and engines running on the lowest mode they slipped into transporter range undetected.
“So far so good,” they heard Chakotay say on the bridge of Voyager. There was an open commline between the freighter and Voyager. On the bridge Captain Janeway listened carefully to what was occurring. At the engineering station B’Elanna impatiently did the same. She wanted to be on the freighter but it was decided the Joe should go and B’Elanna should stay on Voyager.
“Harry scan for Tom’s biosign,” Chakotay ordered.
“Scanning….” Everybody was tense for the next few seconds. Were they too late? Had they killed Tom already?
“I can’t find him.” Harry said in confusion as he conducted the scan again.
“Are you sure?” Janeway asked standing.
“No lifesigns matching Tom’s,” Harry said slowly, hardly believing the results but they were right in front of him.
There was silence on the freighter and silence on the bridge as their worst fear became reality. Thirteen days with the Kazon was too much and they were too late.
End Part 12
There’s more to come! You just wait. email@example.com
Thank you, to everyone who has given me a response! They are much appreciated. -Zaps
Disclaimer: All the Star Trek characters are Paramount’s. I don’t own them (yet). ;)
Archiving: Please do, but tell me! firstname.lastname@example.org
Author’s note: Lucky number thirteen! And now back to my favourite genre! Drama/Action/Adventure, Alternate Universe!! Mwa-ha ha ha haaa!! ‘((=/=))’ marks flashbacks, beginning and end.
“That can’t be,” B’Elanna said in disbelief. “Run the scan again!”
“I did!” Harry said tersely. “He’s not there!”
“Commander, pull out. Come back to Voyager.” Janeway ordered sadly.
Chakotay sighed silently before responding, “Aye, Captain. Chakotay out.” The line closed and for several seconds on both ends of the channel nobody spoke.
Captain Janeway slowly walked back to her seat and sat down heavily. ‘Too late’, the words repeated over and over again in her mind. Guilt washed over her. It had been her decision to retreat when the Kazon had first abducted Tom and hence it was her fault he was dead.
Suddenly a loud bang was heard on the bridge. Looking towards the source of the sound they saw B’Elanna’s fist on the engineering console no doubt that’s where the sound had emanated from. B’Elanna noticed the eyes on her.
“Excuse me,” B’Elanna said not sounding at all apologetic. She got up and left the bridge.
On the freighter Chakotay piloted the shuttle away from the Kazon ship though he paid little attention to what he was doing. His thoughts were occupied with the man they now presumed was dead. He and Paris/Corrin weren’t close but loosing any crewmember was difficult especially when they had done so much for the crew. Now that debt could never be repaid. Chakotay looked over and Harry who stared blankly at his console and wondered what was going through the Ensign’s mind.
‘We waited to long’. ‘If I had worked harder…’. ‘I failed him, I failed a friend,’. These and other such thoughts ran through Harry’s head. The guilt was nearly tangible and he had to do something. He couldn’t give up yet, not yet.
The sudden motion from the previously still man caught the attention of all on board. Chakotay put the freighter on auto-pilot and turned to Harry ready to unleash on him the reality of the situation. Before he could say a word Harry spoke to him.
“We can’t give up yet. Maybe he….” Harry tried to come up with an explanation but he couldn’t formulate one. He shook his head. “I don’t know but we have to keep trying.”
Ensign Wildman was the first one to speak. “What are you doing?” She asked hoping to offer her assistance.
“We contacted Tom once with the transmission unit, if he’s alive … maybe he still has it with him.” Harry said.
“I’ll work on the deflector array,” Sam volunteered.
“I’ll help you,” Joe Carey offered.
“There are four habitable planets in this system and the next. If he escaped maybe he went there,” Chakotay said. For the time being he was willing to be optimistic. He started scanning the planets.
For a few moments Tuvok watched the humans work thinking that the chance Mr. Corrin was still alive was minimal but he should make himself useful. Mr. Corrin was still part of the Voyager crew and deserved that every effort be made for his safe return.
Chakotay noticed Tuvok start working and with a slight smile looked over at the Vulcan. Tuvok noticed the Chakotay’s scrutiny and felt compelled to respond.
“I believe the Terran expression is ‘When in Rome…’”
Chakotay shook his head and went back to work.
Many minutes later Harry, Joe and Sam had finished their work and were ready to transmit a message; they just needed to know where to aim it.
“I’ve detected a faint ion trail leading to the M-class moon of the second planet in this system,” Tuvok said.
“Lifesigns?” Harry asked hopefully.
Chakotay fielded that question. “I can’t be sure. There’s a lot of atmospheric interference. Looks like a bad storm. Still, it’s a start.”
Harry agreed and took a seat at his station. With a hopeful heart he transmitted a short message on the frequency they had used on Voyager to contact Tom the first time. Then they waited.
Heavy rain blanketed the region and the thunder roared so loudly that even the mountains trembled. The canopy of thick leaves and branches was marred by a path of destruction where the greens had been burnt and broken by the moon’s extraterrestrial visitor. Even with the heavy rain the mangled metal of the wreckage still smoked and burnt.
Not twenty meters away from the crash site, a form lay on the ground. Covered in filth he was hardly distinguishable from the detritus that surrounded him. The rain landed on his back and soaked his clothes but still he did not move. The rains cooled his body relieving the fever that had been attacking him for the past four days.
For hours the rain persisted and the thunder and lightening kept the creatures of this world in there dens while he lay on the grounds, the drops washing away some of the dirt and exposing his true form.
A faint sound interrupted the symphony of thunder, wind and rain.
“Tom, are you there? If you can here me please respond.”
With supreme effort he moved his hand to the device to respond but that was all he managed to do. That task had been too much and drained the last of his strength. He could still here Harry’s voice as he slipped into unconsciousness.
“Tom, please respond….
“Tom please respond. This is Harry Kim.” It had been nearly ten minutes and they had not received and response. Chakotay was about to tell Kim to give up when without warning a loud noise was heard over the channel. It quieted quickly and only a light sound followed. The occupants of the shuttle looked at each other wondering what that was.
Again the loud sound punctuated the silence and Chakotay recognized it.
“Thunder,” he said as he turned the ship towards the moon.
Meanwhile back on the Kazon ship Seska was furious.
“He was knocking at death’s door. He couldn’t lift a finger and still, you morons let him escape!” She screamed.
“I….I don’t know what happened.” One guard said as he was coming to.
“He couldn’t have gotten far. Find him or I’ll see that you take his place!” Seska regarded each man with the same cold glare as they stared at her with fear in their eyes knowing that she could easily make good on her threat. “What are you waiting for? Find him!” The guards scattered fearing for their lives, some even contemplated not returning.
“Idiots,” she said to herself before turning to Maj Cullah. “You have a crew of idiots.” She went to walk past him but Cullah gripped her arm and kept her from moving.
“Maybe so, but I am the one in command of them and you. Make sure you know your place.”
Seska’s countenance seemed to soften as she replied to the burly Kazon male. “Of course maj.”
Cullah stared at her for a few moments before releasing her arm. “Don’t you have prisoner to find?” Seska only nodded in response and quickly left the area.
As she rounded the first corner her expression hardened again. She didn’t like taking orders from Cullah but she had little choice in the matter. She ran a hand over her face feeling the more familiar Cardassian features starting to reassert themselves. She had begun to restore her Cardassain genes and would soon look like her old self.
“Chakotay to Voyager,”
“Lt. Rawlins here, sir,”
“Lieutenant inform the Captain that we’re taking a detour to one of the moons of this system. I’m sending you the co-ordinates.”
“Yes sir. If I may ask, what’s there?” Rawlins inquired hoping that he wasn’t over stepping his bounds.
“Possibly our missing crewman. Chakotay out.”
Rawlins tapped his commbadge to call the Captain. He had some good news.
Tuvok, Sam and Harry beamed to the surface of the planet close to where they believed Tom was. Dressed in waterproof attire they followed were their tricorders indicated wreckage was located. They soon found the small craft, or what was left of it. The hatch was open about halfway. It looked like it had been forced ajar by the twisting of the metal at the junction.
Harry aimed his tricorder at the craft. According to the readings there were toxic gases lingering in the air and judging by the current concentrations there must have been ten times more at the time of the crash. Could Tom have survived that? According to the tricorder there were no life-signs coming from in side.
Harry looked to his compatriots and shook his head. They looked around the area hoping that Tom had made it out. The rain and the darkness obscured their vision somewhat but they did not relent.
“Lieutenant! Ensign!” Sam yelled over the noise. “I found him!” Harry and Tuvok immediately joined her and true to her word there was Tom laying on his front, soaked in rain. Tuvok removed his water proof jacket and lay it over Tom hoping to shield the man from the elements while Sam scanned him with the medical tricorder and frowned at the results.
“We’ll set up the pattern enhancers,” Harry said.
“Alright, but I need to try and stabilize him before transport,” Sam said absently as she fished out a hypospray and a vial of medication.
“How is he?” Harry asked hoping Tom was in better condition than he looked. Sam just shook her head. Harry didn’t move. Was he dying? Was he already dead?
“Ensign,” Tuvok called shaking Harry form his morbid thoughts. They went to work setting up the enhancers so they could be transported off the planet. Coming down hadn’t been a problem but the only way they could get through the electrical interference was with the pattern enhancers.
“Ready?” Harry asked when he and Tuvok had finished their task. Sam nodded. The drug she had given Tom didn’t seem to be working but she couldn’t do anything more for him here.
“Tuvok to Chakotay, four to beam up.”
In the ready room Captain Janeway was talking to her second in command over the commline to the freighter. She had been informed by Lt. Rawlins that the away team may have found Tom and five minutes ago it was confirmed.
“How is he?” Janeway asked.
Chakotay looked down for a moment before looking back at his hopeful Captain and delivering the bad news. “Not good. Not only is he running a high fever, suffering for malnutrition and dehydration but he sustained several injuries from his time with the Kazon and the crash of the escape pod and there are several foreign agents throughout his body that are hindering every attempt Ensign Wildman makes to help him.”
Kathryn closed her eyes trying to contain the disappointment. They had gotten him back and now they may lose him again.
“They weren’t aware of our presence.” Chakotay said. That was one bit of good news he could give her.
“How long until you get back?” Kathryn asked.
“Check in every six hours. Do whatever you can. I’ll have the Doctor standing by,” Janeway said. Chakotay nodded his compliance and closed the link.
Three days slipped by and right on schedule the Talaxian freighter arrived back on Voyager. Tom and Ensign Wildman were transported directly to sickbay while the other’s brought in the freighter.
Captain Janeway arrived in Sickbay a few minutes after Tom had been transported off the freighter. When she entered, to her surprise, the room was not in the state of chaos that she had expected it to be. The Doctor was calmly giving orders as he examined the patient.
Kes briefly greeted her as she went to retrieve a medical instrument. The two assistants looked fairly frazzled but they kept their wits about them. Janeway moved closer to the main biobed and caught her first glimpse of Tom in over two weeks.
He was as white as snow and a sheen of perspiration covered his face. There was some evidence of bruising on his face but Ensign Wildman had healed the worst of it. Janeway momentarily relaxed, thinking that Tom was out of the woods. It was then that the Doctor cut open Tom’s shirt revealing the damage it had hidden.
Dried blood held the fabiric to Tom’s skin forcing the doctor to carefully peal away the clothing. As he did, some the wounds opened and more blood trickled onto the bed. Tom’s chest was a mess. Purples and black bruises covered almost every part of him and blood covered the rest. Janeway briefly glanced away, the sight being too horrific for her to stand for that moment.
“Doctor,” Janeway got the holograms attention.
The Doc glanced at her for half a second before going back to his patient. “Mr. Paris is in bad condition but for the time being he is stable.”
“His injuries?” Janeway asked.
“Several bruises, open wounds from various weapons some of which are infected, cuts around his wrist, twelve broken ribs, punctured diaphragm, concussion, burns, I won’t even get into the internal injuries. There are several chemicals in his blood and throughout his body causing him to run a high fever. I cannot identify them all but the remainder of them, are drugs known to be used for torture.”
Kathryn swallowed. She had been expecting Tom to be injured but not to this extent. The Kazon were more ruthless than she had imagined. “Will he recover?”
“I still have to further assess his injuries but with excellent medical care he will recover physically over time. Emotionally however will be another story.” The doctor didn’t slow in his tasks at all. He was a computer program and multi-tasking was just one of the many things he could easily do. “If the ship had a counsellor, I’d recommend several sessions with him or her but since we don’t….” the Doctor didn’t finish the rest of the sentence.
Kathryn knew that the emotional recovery would be the most difficult for Tom and compounded with his physical injuries it would only be harder. She remembered Captain Paris’ state of mind when he had been freed from the Cardassians. Totally silent one moment and the next his temper would flare for no apparent reason.
“Keep me informed,” the Captain said before she left sickbay. The Doctor didn’t look at her but nodded. Janeway cast a look at Tom’s inert form before walking to the exit. She paused outside the entrance to sickbay simply reflecting on what had happened to Tom. Hopefully Tom would fair better in the aftermath than Owen had.
“Come on, Doc. I just want to see him,” Harry said in exasperation. It had been four days since they had found Tom and no one except the Commander and the Captain have been able to see him. Whenever Harry enquired as to Tom’s condition the answer was always the same, ‘he’s revocering’. What the hell did that mean?
“I’m sorry Mr. Kim, but it’s best for the patient that he be given plenty of time to rest,” the doctor replied.
“Doctor out.” The hologram ended the transmission and Harry was left to wait patiently. What was wrong with Tom?
In sickbay the Doctor cast regretful look at his solitary patient. He could see him toss his head from side to side as unwanted images plagued his dreams. The Doctor walked to him and checked the vital signs. Nothing to distressing but there was no improvement either.
A temperature of forty degrees Celsius, when normal for someone of Tom’s physiology was thirty-six degrees. Forty degrees was an improvement over the forty-one point five that Tom had been suffering through three days earlier. Whatever Seska had given Tom was still in his system. The Doctor had tried unsuccessfully to remove the foreign agents but nothing had worked. He had discovered that the compounds broke down under gamma radiation but that was not an acceptable option. The toxins denature naturally as well, however, that is a much slower and thus more excruciating process, but there were no other options available to them.
Tom’s body tensed suddenly. The restraints around Tom’s wrists and ankle were at the breaking point but they held until the spasm had passed. The Doctor sighed and went to check that the straps around Tom’s wrist had not bruised him.
There were two sets of straps on each wrist. They didn’t want a repeat of what had happened the day before. During one of his fairly frequent delusions, Mr. Paris had managed to break the single strap that had been holding his left arm down and had nearly socked the poor Ensign that had been assisting the doctor that day. From then on they placed two sets on each arm and leg.
It was not pretty sight. Restrained to the biobed, often shivering despite his fever, and toxins and hallucinogens locking him in his perfect hell.
The lights were low and it was almost completely silent. In his office the Doctor tried to ignore the strangled cries that would leave his patient every so often. It shouldn’t have affected him so badly, being a hologram and all, but it did. He was powerless in his only function on the ship. He was supposed to ease suffering, heal the injured, cure the ill and in this instance he could do none of those for the man on the main biobed.
The bright light from the Doctor’s office cast strange shadows throughout the room. It outlined the other unoccupied biobeds, the instruments on their trays, even the texture of the carpet and the light glistened off the single tear that left the patient’s eye.
He again called out for an invisible person to help him, addressing them as “Heiya”. It was barely a whisper but the Doctor heard. A few minutes later Tom whispered again, “Heiya”.
It wasn’t English or Standard but the Doctor with his built in universal translator understood Fierran. He could only listen as Tom called heiya.…mother.
“Heiya? What does that mean?” Chakotay asked the Doctor who again ran tricorder over his unusually still patient. Tom whispered the word every so often.
“The direct translation is ‘the one who loved me and gave me life’, but it means ‘mother’.”
Chakotay wondered why Tom would be calling for his dead mother? What could be going on inside his head? “Has he asked for anybody else?” Chakotay asked.
The Doctor paused ant thought for a moment. “I believe I heard him say ‘Sal’ and ‘Kail’ on a few occasions but just those three. His mother, Kail and Sal, whoever they are.”
“When do you think he’ll wake up?”
“In a few hours likely. His neural functions are not as erratic. The concentration
of the chemicals has also decrease a little,” The Doctor explained.
“How do you think he’ll react to us?” Chakotay asked knowing that there were people who wanted to visit. Chakotay followed the Doctor as he walked to the main diagnostic console.
“Different people will react differently. I can’t say for certain but he’ll likely be withdrawn and moody.”
Chakotay noticed that the Doctor didn’t sound as frigid as he usually did. When he had walked in to Sickbay that morning to check up on Tom, the Doctor was in his office and by the looks of it, had been there all night. Listening to somebody suffer can change anybody but could the same happen to a hologram? Apparently so.
End Part 13
Still more coming! :) email@example.com
Disclaimer: All the Star Trek characters are Paramount’s. I don’t own them (yet). ;)
Archiving: Please do, but tell me! firstname.lastname@example.org
Author’s note: And now back to my favourite genre! Drama/Action/Adventure, Alternate Universe!! Mwa-ha ha ha haaa!! ‘((=/=))’ marks flashbacks, beginning and end.
For seven days Tom Paris suffered under the effects of Seska’s drugs. The Doctor had only been able to help Tom a little as the chemicals would not break down without drastic and potentially harmful treatment.
On the eight day the Doctor noticed that Tom was fairing much better. The delusions had lessened and he seemed to be resting more peacefully. Late in the day Tom actually woke up much to the delight of his physician.
“Mr. Paris,” the Doctor greeted with what could be termed as a smile.
At first Tom was confused. His memory was hazy. “Who are you?” Tom asked. He slowly looked around and turned his head. “Where are we?”
“You don’t remember?” the Doctor scanned Tom’s head with a tricorder. He had arrived in sickbay with a severe concussion, no doubt from his crash landing on the moon he was found on, but there was also some chemical agent in his brain which may account for some memory loss. “You’re on the Federation Starship Voyager,” the Doctor informed him
“Voyager? We’re in the Delta Quadrant aren’t we,” Tom said not entirely sure that what he was remembering was accurate.
“Is Sal here?” Tom asked as he tried to get up only to realize that he was restrained by straps on his ankles and wrists.
“There’s nobody on the ship by that name?” The Doctor told him.
“But….I heard him. He was with me!” Tom started getting agitated and struggled against his bonds.
“Mr. Paris, you’re going to injure yourself.” The Doctor said.
Tom tried to force the straps to break but he found he was too weak. The Doctor watched as the straps strained with the force being applied but they did not break.
The Doctor gave Tom a mild sedative and he immediately calmed. “I heard him,” Tom said quietly to himself.
“You heard a drug induced delusion.”
“Then nothing I saw was real? Sal, Kail….” He trailed off.
“I’m afraid so.”
Tom looked away for a few moments. It had been so real. He had heard them so clearly. “What’s happened to me? What did she do to me?” Tom wearily as he looked at himself, clad in the standard blue sickbay pyjamas.
Tom closed his eyes trying to will away the memories. “Seska.”
The Doctor conversed with Captain Janeway on the Emergency medical channel. The Captain was in the ready room listening carefully to what the Doctor was saying. She and many others had been worrying about Tom. The rumour mill was overflowing with what could possibly be happening with Tom and little of it was based on fact. Sickaby had been closed except to the sick or injured.
“His injuries are healing but he will be sore for some time,” The Doctor told her.
“How did he act when he regained consciousness?” Kathryn asked.
“He was disoriented at first but after what he’s been through, I think he’s fairing quite well. He’s still dealing with what the Kazon did to him. I’d suggest he see the ship’s counsellor but we don’t have one.”
“Are you qualified to act as a counsellor?” Janeway asked.
“I have some knowledge of psychology but not enough to provide the type of counselling he’ll likely need.”
Janeway was silent for a few moments as she contemplated what they would do. “Thank you, doctor. Keep me posted.”
The screen went black and Captain Janeway leaned back in her chair. She quelled the anger that was growing inside her. She was furious at Seska for what she had done to Tom, a member of her crew but there were few options available to her. As long as Seska was with the Kazon, she would continue to be a threat.
Kathryn tiredly ran a hand over her face. For the time being her main concern was Tom. He would need help with his recovery.
She needlessly adjusted her bun before exiting the ready room. She made a mental note to discuss with Tuvok more security measures.
Meanwhile, on Cullah’s vessel they’d discovered the means of their prisoner’s escape. Due to an error in the computer system, they had not been informed when the escape pod had been launched. Seska suspected that Tom had created the fault so that he could make his escape. She refrained from telling that to the Maj though. He constantly underestimated the crew of Voyager, especially one, Tom Paris.
Seska watched but didn’t listen to Maj Cullah rant to his officers. He was an imbecile and his stupidity infuriated her to no end. She was tempted to walk out of the room and end this boredom now but she was already treading on thin ice with Cullah. One more act of insubordination and she’d be abandoned on the next planet they came across, habitable or not.
“Seska,” Cullah addressed the woman who was looking more like Cardassian with each wasted day. She tuned back into the lecture trying to look like an obedient officer but no amount of acting could hide the defiance in her eyes. “You were in charge of Paris how did you allow this to happen?”
Seska resisted the urge to glare at him by diverting her eyes. She realized that the two of them were alone in the room. She couldn’t remember when the other officers had vacated the room.
Seska looked back to Cullah who was standing too close to her, infuriating her further. “I did not allow anything to happen,” Seska stated, carefully enunciating each word. “He could barely move when I saw him last.”
“Then how did he leave his cell?” Cullah asked a question he knew she could not answer.
“Most likely, he walked.”
Her rude response was rewarded by a slap from the maj. He glared at her but Seska’s expression was frigid. “I want him found and I’ll hold you responsible if he’s not.” Cullah’s threat didn’t seem to affect the Cardassian spy in the least.
After a moment of tense silence Cullah went to leave, turning his back to Seska –a mistake on Cullah’s part that could one day prove to be fatal.
Seska unsheathed her dagger and held it ready to strike but she restrained herself. She would make her move when it suited her agenda best. Concealing the dagger again she followed the Kazon male out of the room, smiling slightly as she did. There were no Cardassian morals that frowned on stabbing someone when their back was turned.
Ignoring the patients near constant complaints the doctor tended to his duties to the best of his abilities. Once again Tom was awake and itching to leave Sickbay. The Doctor had informed Tom that his body required time to eradicate the foreign agents floating throughout him but Tom showed no concern for his well being and continued to ask the doctor for permission to leave.
“Mr. Paris,” The Doc turned to the man lying on the biobed, “You are not going to be leaving this place until I am satisfied that you are no longer in danger.” The Doctor sounded rather irate and Tom wondered briefly how long it would take to really annoy the hologram.
“I’m fine,” Tom told him.
“So you’ve been telling me.” The Doctor walked away. He wasn’t fine though. The drugs in his system were still reaping havoc with Tom’s body. One minute he’d be feverish and barely conscious, suffering from more delusions, the next he’d his old self and the next moment he’d once again be haunted by some horrible delusion or vivid memory of what had happened to him while in the care of the Kazon.
“Could you at least loosen these straps then?” Tom yelled but the Doctor ignored him. He figured that the Doctor would have to un-strap him sooner or later. Now that he was conscious he’d be able to eat.
Eating, the idea sounded promising but after two weeks of no food and only a few sips of water here and there, and then a week of intravenous nutrient supplements, his stomach would not be ready to digest the meals he dreamt of having.
He shook off those thoughts and returned his attention to the problem at hand, Sickbay. Tom tested the restraints again and sighed. With a little patience and effort he could free himself of his bonds but his brain was still a scrambled mess making concentrating on any one thing a fairly difficult task. At least it would keep his mind off the past few weeks, he hoped.
A few minutes later the Doctor walked passed his patient and found him lying silently on the bed, in his opinion being far too quiet. Eying him suspiciously for a few moments the Doc continued with his tasks leaving Tom continue trying to free himself.
A few hours later Tom’s patience had run out and the drugs were once again taking effect. The warnings started to sound catching the Doctor’s attention. He rushed over to his patients who was more animate than he had been for the past few hours.
“Mr. Paris try and stay calm,” the Doctor said as he examined his patient with a tricorder but Tom wasn’t listening.
Fear and panic were beginning to eat away at his composure and he had to get away from here.
“Mr. Paris!” The Doctor loaded a hypospray with a strong sedative and was prepared to use it on the struggling man but when Tom saw it coming he retaliated.
For his effort Tom had managed to loosen one strap that held down his right arm. It was enough for him to break the last one and continue to free himself of the remaining restraints.
The Doctor pressed the hypo to Tom’s neck but Tom’s movement caused the last half of the dosage to be released into the air. Tom, now free, got off the biobed and headed to the door.
“Computer erect a level six containment field around Sickbay,” The Doc ordered. In front of the entrance the force-field flickered to life trapping Tom inside.
Tom touched the force-field and was rewarded with a sizeable shock. He felt the tips of his fingers and found that his finger prints had been burnt off leaving a smooth surface. He slowly turned to face the CMO who thought he had won.
“I’m leaving,” Tom stated although he swayed slightly and the sedative started to take effect. He tried to focus his vision but objects were blurring together and he was becoming increasingly dizzy.
“Tom, you need time to recover. You’re still weak from-”
“I don’t care!” Tom interrupted. His outburst only made his head spin more. Closing his eyes and taking a few deep breaths he tried to regains his composure. “I’m leaving,” he stated more softly. Looking around sickbay he saw one of the Doctor’s instruments that would help him achieve his goal.
Kes was just about to enter Sickaby to start her shift. She had just started to help the Doctor and was excited about what she hoped to learn. She also wanted to see how Tom was doing. She had only seen him once in the past week and he had been near death at the time.
Just as she was about to enter Sickbay the lights dimmed for a moment before returning to their full brightness. Kes paused wondering if it was going to happen again but it seemed to be a one-time occurrence and she shrugged.
Suddenly the door to Sickbay open and the subject of her earlier thoughts walked out and nearly into her.
“Tom, are you alright?” Kes asked noticing that he didn’t look well. “You should be resting.”
Tom could feel his temper rising. Everything seemed to bother him but he withheld the rude comment he felt like making. “I am fine,” he said, eyes closed and breathes coming much too quickly.
“You are not,” they both heard the Doctor say. He stood in the doorway of sickbay unable to go any farther. “Return to your bed at once,” the hologram ordered but Tom ignored him and move to go by Kes but she blocked his path.
“It’s for your own good, Tom,” she tried to convince him but he didn’t want to listen.
Tom gave her a challenging look but Kes didn’t back down. Tom sighed. He picked her up, turned and placed down again so that she was out of his way. “Excuse me,” he said causally and walked away.
Kes looked on in surprise. She hadn’t been expecting that. She heard the Doctor sigh and tap his commbadge.
“Doctor to Janeway, we have a jail break.”
Ensign Kim entered his quarters after a long and tense shift at his station. They were still in Kazon territory and constant scans were necessary to make sure they weren’t heading into some sort of trap. They were also working on purging the systems of any trace of Seska to make sure she wouldn’t be as much of a threat as before.
Tiredly, Harry unzipped his jacket and called for lights. He’d change out of his uniform and go see if the Doc would allow Tom a visitor. From behind him he heard a voice start speaking and he jumped.
“You mind if I crash here for a while?”
Harry looked to the source of the voice and saw Tom seated on the floor next to the entrance to the quarters. “Tom what are you doing here?” Harry asked as he rushed over to him.
“Vacationing, what does it look like?” Tom said sarcastically giving him a sour look.
Harry reached out to lay a hand on Tom’s shoulder but stopped short when he noticed Tom’s condition. He was shaking slightly and his eyes were glassy. “You need to go to sickbay,” Harry announced.
“No.” Tom stated as he tried to get up but found that the sedative was making him feel heavy. “I don’t…want….”
“The holodoc can be pretty irritating, but he knows what’s best,” Harry said as he helped Tom stand.
“You’d think that,” Tom mumbled.
In her ready room Janeway rubbed her eyes as she listened to the Doctor rant. She interrupted him in mid-sentence, having listened to enough of his complaints.
“Have you tried to contact him?”
“Yes but he’s not wearing a commbadge,” the Doctor said though he doubted words alone would make Tom return.
“He couldn’t have gotten far in his condition.”
The Doctor harrumphed. “I’m sure that’s what the Kazon said when they discovered Mr. Paris was missing.”
“Doctor,” Janeway warned not liking his attitude. “I’ll have Tuvok scan for-”
Just then the doors to Sickbay opened and Harry and Tom entered. Tom looked far worse than he did a few minutes ago as Harry helped him on to a biobed.
“Were was he?” Janeway asked knowing that Kim had just been relieved of duty a few minutes ago.
“My quarters,” Harry answered.
“Mine were too far away,” Tom managed to say before he lost consciousness.
“Thank you for bringing him back, Mr. Kim. Doctor, keep me informed.” Janeway closed the link.
“Maybe you should release him to his quarters.” Kes suggested as she helped run the necessary scans.
“I don’t think he’s ready for that just yet.” The Doctor said.
“Why not? He obviously doesn’t want to stay here,” Harry said.
The Doctor faced Harry to give his explanation. “He can’t handle it right now. There are times when he can’t separate a dream from reality. He’s also not displaying any concern for his health or well-being. I don’t know if he’s dealing properly with what happened to him.”
“You don’t think that he’d….hurt himself?” Harry asked softly.
The Doctor shrugged and went back to work. “I can’t say but I’d rather not risk it.”
End Part 14
Not much happened, I know. The next part will be more interesting, I promise. email@example.com
Disclaimer: All the Star Trek characters are Paramount’s. I don’t own them (yet). ;)
Archiving: Please do, but tell me! firstname.lastname@example.org
Author’s note: And now back to my favourite genre! Drama/Action/Adventure, Alternate Universe!! Mwa-ha ha ha haaa!! ‘((=/=))’ marks flashbacks, beginning and end.
It had been nearly two days since Tom had been released from sickbay but he had not been seen in public at all and worry was beginning to spread. The Doctor, Harry, Captain Janeway, Kes and Chakotay were the only ones who had seen Tom lately and they too worried about Tom and his state of mind.
There was no telling how his imprisonment and torture, at the hands of Seska and the Kazon, had changed him. They didn’t know Tom well enough to recognize any problems or issues that he would need to deal with to fully heal, if that was at all possible.
The computer complied with the inputted command but when a missing function was detected the female voice gave a warning to the user. “This program does not contain safety parameters, presenting extreme risk of injury-”
“Belay that,” Captain Janeway’s voice interrupted and the computer chirped in response and awaited further instruction.
Janeway held her own against the steely glare that was aimed at her. “Sorry Tom,” she said not sounding all that apologetic, “protocol.”
Tom just stared at her and Kathryn could only speculate as to what he was thinking. A brief flash of emotion crossed his eyes but Tom turned and entered holodeck one before Janeway could identify it. She watched him go wishing she could help him through the mental anguish but having never had so horrifying an experience she would not be able to connect with him or gain any semblance of his trust.
The doors to the first holodeck closed sealing Tom inside, alone. Janeway continued on her way to holodeck two so that she could, for a few minutes, drop the armour the she always wore as the Captain and just be Kathryn.
Inside holodeck one the grid had been replaced with holographic projections of the interior of the palace that Tom had grown up in. Faceless minions of the Fieran Empire walked past him paying him little mind and Tom felt a swell of anger at himself for making this hologram so much like reality where he was always ignored and overlooked.
In the eastern wing of the complex Tom entered the area that had been off limits for him as a child. Absently he rubbed the part of his arm where he had hurt himself when he hadn’t known that the weapons adorning the walls were for decorative purposes but were also kept in good condition, which meant keeping the blades sharp, as was tradition.
His destination as he meandered through the frighteningly accurate and realistic program was the practice room of the royal security force. As a child he had admired the guards. They had an air of invincibility around them especially the ones that bore the ‘silver shem’ like the one he now wore.
The Silver Shem was a status awarded to only a few members of the royal security force, those who had earned the right to bear one. The shem was a band of silver plated metal that was worn on the forearm and had special engravings on it. When this tradition had started it was used as a piece of armour for protection but nowadays it was more ceremonial but the significance was that same.
The shem was awarded to officers of the security force who had gone beyond the call of duty in order to secure the safety of others. Like others, Tom only wore his shem when he felt he needed the extra strength during trying times, like now.
The shem was hidden beneath the sleeve of his shirt his name engraved into the under side of it; Thomas Paris. With that surname, the silver shem was the closest Tom could ever get to being recognized as member of the royal family.
In the practice room Tom silently gazed at the magnificent weapons on their stands. He picked up one of the swords and lightly traced the deceptively slender blade. It seemed so fragile but it was stronger than its size suggested when used properly. Looking at the tips of his fingers Tom noted that he had not been cut by the blade, which is what usually happened when he handled the blades like this.
“Safety parameters,” Tom whispered to himself unhappily. How could he pretend this simulation was real if the danger wasn’t?
A few minutes later Tom was in the middle of the fairly large room wielding the weapon with ease and grace that only practice could award. With continuous loops and smooth motions the blade sliced through the air. Every so often there was a slight hum when the blade vibrated, evidence that Tom was performing the technique correctly.
The slow exercise was punctuated with swift motions as he defended against and attack invisible assailants. At the end of the exercise Tom held the handle of the sword with his right hand, with his index and middle fingers of his left hand on the junction of the blade and elegantly crafted handle. As he mover his right hand back, the flat side of the blade ran against his fingers before he swung the sword on a vertical plane and touching the tip to the ground in front of him as was the traditional ending to all floor exercises.
Despite his physical fatigue the exercise hadn’t calmed his soul the way it had in the times before. He felt nothing but isolation and pain and no amount of physical activity was helping but he needed something to take his mind off the past few weeks, anything.
“Computer, end program,” Tom ordered as he let the sword fall from his hand, something he would never usually have allowed to happen. Purposely allowing the handle of a weapon to touch the ground was to admit defeat to an adversary, whether it was another person or yourself.
The program fizzled away only a few centimetres before the handle touched the ground. Tom was returned to reality abruptly, the grey colour of the holodeck matching his mood perfectly.
Captain Janeway was meeting with her executive officer in her ready room. They had handled all the ship’s business and there last issue before they were done was one member of the crew.
“I’d offer my services as a counsellor, if I thought he’s even consider it,” Chakotay said before he took a sip of his tea. Janeway had a mug of coffee in her hand and Chakotay briefly wondered how she could stand to drink that stuff.
“I could order him, but I don’t think being forced into counselling will help.” She looked out the window to the stars beyond wondering if they could somehow inspire her. Finally she sighed and looked back to Chakotay. “We haven’t tried anything and we’re already out of ideas.” The irony brought a slight smile to both of their faces but it vanished quickly.
Kathryn was also contemplating how to approach Tom about what they had found in his database. What did ETF stand for and what type of organization was it? Other questions about Tom’s history were also shady. What had Tom been doing in the DMZ if he wasn’t part of the Maquis? There was still too much about him they didn’t know.
“You rang,” Tom said as he entered the ready room. His expression was neutral but by his straight back and stiff walk Captain Janeway could tell he was tense. He stood at attention but looked directly at her. Kathryn knew that the haunted look in his eyes would follow her into her dreams.
“I hope I wasn’t interrupting you?” Kathryn apologized.
Tom only shrugged and waited for her to continue.
“I just wanted to make sure that you’re alright.”
“Your concern is heart-warming,” Tom mumbled to himself, thankfully Janeway didn’t hear.
“Nothing.” he pauses. “I’m fine.”
Kathryn, of course, didn’t believe him and continued. “Commander Chakotay has offered his services as a councillor if you want to talk.”
“I’ll keep it in mind,” Tom said as he quickly tired of this conversation.
Kathryn gave him a look that told him he didn’t believe him. “You can sit down,” she offered.
“Are we done here?” Tom asked impatiently.
“We only want to help you Tom.”
“I didn’t ask for your help.” Tom started to leave. Kathryn quickly gets around her desk and cuts him off before he reached the side door that led to the corridor.
“Is this what you always do?” Kathryn asked softly. “Walk away?”
“I usually don’t have a choice,” he told her cryptically.
“Your job working for the ETF.”
Her statement caught Tom’s attention. He wondered how Janeway had found out about the ETF. He had noticed that his database had been accessed several times during his absence. Tom hadn’t checked specifically which areas had been accessed; lately it hadn’t seemed all that important.
“Elite Tactical Fleet.” Janeway said. “There wasn’t a lot in the Starfleet database about it.”
“And there’s a reason for that.”
“Care to enlighten me?”
“No.” Tom left.
Tom paced his quarters, something he had been doing more and more of with each passing day. He was becoming increasingly agitated. Nothing on Voyager could calm him and Tom knew that he had to get away but first he had to finish what he had started.
He went to his computer and began looking through the ships records looking for any suspicious transmission of power drains. They would be evidence of outgoing communications. Tom had a theory that Seska had a contact on Voyager and now that he had escaped from the Kazon, Seska would need her contact.
So now Tom had to figure out, who on Voyager would be desperate and stupid enough to want to help a traitor.
His door chime rang and Tom called for the person to enter. He remained seated at his computer while the person walked in. From the reflection in the window Tom knew that it was B’Elanna who had entered.
“Hey, Torres,” Tom said tiredly. He closed his program and turned his head to look at her.
“Back to work again?” B’Elanna asked. She had recognized the program that Tom had been using. It was one of Star Fleet’s standard internal search algorithms.
“Not exactly. I won’t be at the helm for a while,” Tom said miserably.
“Well, there’s always the holodeck,” B’Elanna suggested.
“I’ve tried that already,” Tom said as he ran his hand through his hair. He sighed and stood up. He was tired but restless. “By the way,” Tom said turning to face his guest. “Thanks for saving me,” he said softly. B’Elanna smiled after a moment.
“You’re welcome,” she replied simply. For the first time in too long she saw a light smile grace Tom’s features and she couldn’t look away, at least until the chime rang again.
Tom cleared his throat before calling for the person to enter. Harry Kim walked in and found Tom and B’Elanna standing rather close together. He paused halfway in and thought he should make up some excuse for an quick exit. “You know what, I forgot something somewhere-”
“Come in Harry,” Tom said moving away from B’Elanna slightly. Harry slowly walked in wondering what he had interrupted and what B’Elanna would do to him later.
“I thought I should see how you were doing,” Harry said and saw Tom cringe. Everyone wanted to help but they couldn’t. He couldn’t even help himself.
“I’m fine,” Tom said dryly.
“I think you need to get out more. We hardly see you around,” B’Elanna said.
Tom went to the replicator and ordered a glass of water. “Well what am I supposed to do? Voyager is exactly a great vacationing spot.”
The group lapsed into silence for a few moments before Harry spoke. He had to ask Tom about something. “Tom, what does ETF stand for?” Harry asked and looked at him expectantly.
“Why do you want to know?” Tom asked as he sat down in a chair.
This time it was B’Elanna who spoke. “We saw it in your database.” Harry and B’Elanna both sat on the couch and waited for Tom to respond.
Tom debated on whether or not to answer. They were seventy thousand light-years from home and wouldn’t get back any time soon. ETF wasn’t a top secret, just not common knowledge. Still, the less they knew the better.
“I just work for them,” Tom answered simply.
“What do you do?” Harry asked, wondering if Tom would share anymore with them.
B’Elanna hadn’t expected Tom to answer Harry’s last question but she had one of her own, actually she had two. “What were you doing in the DMZ and how do you know Sobey?” B’Elanna asked. She recalled when she had asked Tom earlier in their journey if he was part of a covert organization. He didn’t give her a straight answer but it seems she was right.
“Sobey and I worked together. We were somewhat like partners.”
“Somewhat?” Harry pondered. He had heard about the Betazoid man from some of the Maquis crewman.
“We usually work alone but Sobey and I watched each other’s back. As for the DMZ, we were both working.” Harry and B’Elanna were understandably curious. What work was Tom doing in the DMZ. To answer that question well, Tom would need to tell them more about the ETF, how it was independent of Starfleet, the Federation and any other organization in the Alpha Quadrant, but he couldn’t. “We were helping defend colonists in the DMZ. We had a two choices, join a Maquis sect or work alone.”
“And you chose to work alone.” Harry said. Tom nodded. Tom was silent in thought for a few moments and s slight smile curved his lips. “What?” Harry asked not understanding Tom’s expression.
“I was just thinking about him.” Tom’s smile faded. “I always thought I’d die first.” Harry and B’Elanna didn’t know what to say. What should they say? His thoughts were becoming very morbid and after his stint with the Kazon they thought it best to keep him in a more relaxed mood.
“Damn it,” Tom curse quietly and stood up. Harry and B’Elanna didn’t know what to make of his sudden change of moods.
“Tom-” B’Elanna began but was interrupted.
“He’s really gone, isn’t he?” Tom said but he had known the answer for a while now. He just chose not to believe it.
“I’m sorry, Tom.” B’Elanna said as she stood. She went over to him hoping that she could help him through this. Tom and Sobey were obviously very close and his death had no doubt been difficult for him to cope with.
“I can’t feel him,” Tom said in a hollow voice. He didn’t address anybody and the other occupants got the distinct feeling that Tom hadn’t even meant to say it out loud.
“What do you mean?” Harry asked.
Before Tom was forced to answer that question they heard sirens over the comm.
“Red alert! All hands to battle stations!” Captain Janeway’s voice was heard at every corner of the ship. The three officers in Tom’s quarters glanced at each other before heading for the door. B’Elanna headed for engineering but Tom followed Harry to the bridge.
“Tom where are you going?” Harry asked when he noticed that Tom was still with him.
They arrived soon after, Harry rushing to take his post. According to the sensors there were five Kazon warships coming at them. Janeway barked orders to her crew not noticing that Tom was on the upper deck near tactical.
“We’re being hailed,” Harry announce.
“On screen,” Chakotay said.
The screen changed to an image of Maj Cullah on the bridge of the lead vessel. Seska could be seen in the background. She and Chakotay looked eyes and she gave him a smile causing his blood to boil.
“Captain Janeway,” Cullah greeted. “I’m giving you this chance to surrender.” Cullah’s eyes scanned the faces of the bridge but stopped when he saw the blue eyes that he remembered being filled with pain.
“Cullah,” Tom greeted.
“You,” the Maj hissed. Tom just glared at him.
Seska decided to take over the negotiations. Screw Cullah. “Lower your shields and prepared to be boarded.”
The Captain gestured to Kim to cut the channel. “Tuvok charge weapons. Commander take the helm,” she ordered before turning to Tom. He was a better pilot than Chakotay but in his current state she wasn’t sure he’d be able to handle this. Tom was still staring at the now blank viewscreen where his tormentors had been only seconds ago.
Janeway was abot to say something to him when another alert added to the cacophony of sirens and warnings.
The computer’s feminine voice was heard over the comm, “Intruder alert.”
End Part 15
Only a few more parts (two, three, four, maybe five). But I’m not making any promises, except that I will finish this story. Remember, patience is a virtue.
Disclaimer: All the Star Trek characters are Paramount’s. I don’t own them (yet). ;)
Archiving: Please do, but tell me! email@example.com
Author’s note: And now back to my favourite genre! Drama/Action/Adventure, Alternate Universe!! Mwa-ha ha ha haaa!! ‘((=/=))’ marks flashbacks, beginning and end.
“Come on Tom, stay with me,” Sal pleaded. He didn’t receive a response. “Just a little further.”
The Harsh wind bit at his skin but he forged on. They had to make it. The cavern was just a few meters up. The weight of his young friend and comrade draped over his back didn’t make the climb easy but Sal didn’t give up.
Finally, after what seemed like ages they made it. It was dark and dank but it was shelter. As gently as he could, Sal laid the Fieran-human hybrid on the ground.
“Tom, say something,” Sal said as he searched his suit for the med kit he had been carrying. He hoped he hadn’t lost it.
“Sal.” Tom’s voice was a whisper that was nearly lost in the wind but Tom had heard.
“I’m right here, Tom.” Sal moved into Tom’s field of vision.
“It hurts,” he croaked.
“I know it does. Hold on, I’m getting something for it.” Sal opened his med kit and removed a hypospray and a vial. He pressed it to Tom’s neck and waited but the pain didn’t seem to lessen at all. “Damn them,” Sal cursed as prepared another vial.
“Make it stop….”
“I’m trying Tom. Hold on,” Sal pleaded. He pressed the hypospray to Tom’s neck again and watched as his features relaxed. “Hold on, Tom. Help is on the way.”
Sal looked at the grey clouds outside and then looked down and the foggy village below were this particular nightmare had begun.
Tom had been working here looking for an escaped criminal. Unfortunately the criminal had found Tom first and had infected him with a horrible virus. Tom had been here alone without any assistance and Sal had gotten worried when his friend hadn’t responded to any of his messages.
When Sal arrived he found Tom’s small dwelling had been over run by the homeless citizens of the village and they had left Tom in an alley to die. Tom had been at death’s door when he arrived but with some intervention from the betazoid man, his condition had been upgraded.
The criminal Tom had been after had tried to finish Tom off for good but Sal took his friend and ran for the outskirts where he eventually lost their pursuer.
Now they just had to wait. Sal had filed a report before he left noting his concern for Tom. Tom was only nineteen years old and though he was a good at his job he was not prepared for this mission; partly his fault but mostly the fault to the person who had assigned Tom to this particular mission. The small file on the fugitive had been misread and this job, suited for an experienced operative, was given to Tom.
Sal sighed and looked out to the village again. Somebody would be along soon to find them, he hoped. They would have just gone to Sal’s shuttle but it was too far away for them to make it with somebody hunting them.
So for six days and nights they stayed in the cave letting Tom rest. His condition had improved slightly but he had lost consciousness two days into their wait and had not woken since.
Sal scanned Tom again and was discouraged to find that Tom was slipping into a coma. “Tom fight it!” Sal yelled hoping that Tom would here him. “I have to do something,” he mumbled to himself. But what else could he do? His limited medical; supplies were not enough.
Sal remembered his father telling him about a dangerous and radical procedure that could help stabilize ill people and possibly bring people out of comas but it had not been proven. But what else can I do, Sal thought to himself.
“Tom, forgive me,” Sal whispered as he closed his eyes.
Sal remained kneeled at Tom’s side for hours, as he probed into Tom’s mind looking for something to strengthen Tom. Suddenly Sal found something and Tom’s body jerked.
“Almost,” Sal whispered. Tom’s body jerked again and his eyes fluttered open.
‘Sal,’ Tom thought he had spoken the name but he hadn’t.
“I’m here.” Sal opened his eyes and looked at his awakened comrade. “How do you feel?”
‘Tired. My body hurts.’
Sal regarded his friend with wide eyes. What was happening? Tom’s lips hadn’t moved, yet somehow Sal could hear him. “What did you say?”
‘I don’t know,’ Tom said as he closed his eyes. Again Tom’s lips didn’t move but Sal heard him.
“We’ll figure this out later,” Sal said as he raised Tom to a sitting position. “Do you feel up for a bit of a run?” Sal asked hoping to make use of Tom’s recovery.
“Too bad, get up.” Sal hauled Tom to his feet and Tom managed to keep from falling over. “Let’s go.”
‘Wait! What happened? Something feels different.’
“I don’t know Tom but we have to go now.”
Two days later Tom was in an infirmary recovering from his illness. Sal examined Tom’s bio-readings noting that they were stable and strong. The young man would be alright. Sobey left the room to go speak with the Doctor. He had something to ask.
“Yes, I noticed something different when I performed my initial scans.”
“Do you know what it is?”
“I have a theory but I can’t confirm it until my patient awakens. The telepathic procedure you and Mr. Paris underwent during your time on the planet seems to have left a telepathic bond between you. I believe it will fade with time but not entirely. You two may always have a slightly empathic bond. For you it won’t be all that different but for Mr. Paris it will take some getting used to.”
“No, you don’t, but you will.” The Doctor walked away to go check on his patient.
Tom was on the turbolift and heading to the deck ten before Janeway could order a security detail to go with him. If the Kazon wanted a confrontation they’d get one. The turbolift stopped on said deck and the doors slid open with a hiss. A faint smell of smoke was already wafting through the corridors. They had just arrived, and already the Kazon had broke something.
Tom stopped at a weapons locker and stocked up before consulting the computer again to determine the exact location of the Kazon. The computer instructed him the Kazon where at Jefferies tube junction 10-3H, so Tom headed there. When he arrived he found that the Kazon had already entered the jefferies tube and were climbing down to deck 11, main engineering. Tom followed.
As he drew closer to the exit to engineering he heard the some of the Kazon officers ordering around the engineering crew. Tom peeked out the hatch and saw most of the engineering crew being rounded up by the armed Kazon men. Tom decided to climb the jefferies tube to the upper level of engineering. He would have a better vantage point from there.
The upper level was deserted. The Kazon had quickly rounded them up. Keeping his body low, Tom crept around the upper level looking for the best position, which he found. From there he could see nearly all of the lower level but shooting at him from down below would be very difficult.
Tom took out his phaser rifle and took aim. He tapped his commbadge while still looking through the scope of the weapon.
“Paris to Tuvok,” he whispered, “Where’s the security team?”
“We are coming towards main engineering,” Tuvok said.
Tom gave him the layout. Where the Kazon were positioned, how many of them there were and where they Voyager crewmembers were located. Just before the security team entered Tom expertly took out three Kazon officers causing enough confusion that when the security team entered they easily regained control of engineering.
Tom took the lift down to the lower level where Tuvok and Torres were the first to greet him.
“Mr. Paris,” Tuvok said.
“Lieutenant Tuvok,” Tom greeted in the same fashion. “There are probably more of them on the ship.”
Tuvok nodded in agreement and quickly split up his security detachment into smaller groups to sweep each deck, section-by-section. Tom joined one of the teams and together they cleared decks eleven through five but there were still more to go. They had only found a few Kazon during their search and Tom had the distinct feeling that there was something else going on.
They were climbing through the Jefferies tubes to deck four when Tom gave into the nagging feeling and tapped his commbadge.
“Paris to Janeway,” he waited for a response but none came. Around him, the other security officers listened as well. “Paris to the bridge, please respond.” Still there was no answer. “Hogan,” Tom called to the officer who was leading the group, “Stop. We need to go to the bridge.”
“He’s going to come here,” Chakotay said, after the comm. went dead. They both knew of the kind of damage Tom could do.
Seska crouched down to his level. “I’m counting on it.” Chakotay and the rest of the officers that were present on the bridge had been hoarded to the centre at gunpoint. They were currently all kneeling on the carpeted floor. While some of the Kazon officers kept watch.
Seska walked back to Maj Cullah who was standing at the helm. “We have to get rid of him first!” Cullah said, referring to Tom.
“I have a plan,” Seska said. Her plan would rid her of her two biggest problems, Tom and Cullah.
Meanwhile, the Voyager officers were trying to form a plan of their own. The bridge had been invaded so quickly they hadn’t had time to defend themselves. They needed to regroup and find something to help them regain control.
“We need to lock out all the bridge commands,” Janeway whispered to the small group.
“How do we get to a console without them noticing?” Harry asked? Before anyone could answer Seska interrupted.
“Everybody, get up,” she ordered and slowly the officer complied. Seska turned to the Kazon guards. “Take them into the conference room and make sure they stay there,” she said forcefully. As they were escorted to the room, Chakotay counted the number of Kazon going with them: four, they could take out four.
They waited in the conference room, hoping for something that would briefly distract their guards and a few minutes later it came. Shouts and the sounds of weapons discharging pierced the silence. One of the Kazon officers turned to the door and that moment of inattention was enough for Kim to jump him. They struggled for the weapon until, with the help of another crewman, Harry managed to get the weapon and knock out the officer. The other officers managed to get two of the other three but one got away and headed for the door to the bridge knowing he could not defeat all the Voyager officers alone.
As the door slid open he saw some voyager officers fighting his comrades and for the most part winning. Of the Voyagers, he recognized one. He raised his weapon and managed to fire one shot before being tackled from behind.
Janeway emerged on the bridge and after the chaos cleared she was able to assess the damage. Several unconscious Kazon officers littered the ground, among them Maj Cullah. She stepped over the fallen Maj to Tuvok and Tom. Tuvok was trying to get Tom to sit down but there was still one person missing. He could rest later, he had to find her now!
“Mr. Paris you are injured,” Tuvok stated needlessly.
Tom glared at him for a moment before moving away. Why were Vulcans always stating the obvious? “Tom go to, sickbay,” Janeway ordered. Tom just looked at her before walking away, his shirt soaking with blood from his wound. Harry glanced at the Captain before following Tom into a turbolift.
Janeway didn’t know what Tom was thinking until she looked around and realized that at least one of the perpetrators was missing, Seska. She turned to Tuvok, “Run a security sweep of all major systems. I want to know how Seska got them on the ship.” Tuvok nodded and went to work.
“Captain, I’m going join a security team and run another sweep of the ship,” Chakotay said. Janeway nodded her agreement. They couldn’t trust sensors right now. There must have been some sort of error introduced into the system. It hadn’t alerted them to the presence of intruders until it was nearly too late.
Tom walked purposely through deck three to his quarters. Harry followed silently, wondering what Tom was going to do. They arrived at his quarters and Tom immediately headed for his closet. He still had a few things with him from Mercury and they would come in handy now.
Harry watched as Tom pulled out some gadgets, most of which he didn’t recognize. “What is all this?” Harry asked.
Tom stood up and handed Harry what looked like a weapon. “I can’t do this alone,” Tom said. Harry took the weapon and examined it. Tom gave him a brief overview on how the weapon worked. It was a little heavier than a phaser and it was shape differently but Harry preferred the balance on this weapon to a phaser.
“Don’t loose that.” Tom warned. “It’s my favourite.” Tom handed Harry protective vest.
“What’s this for?” Harry asked as he put it on.
“It’ll keep you alive in the event we have some major problems,” Tom said.
“Where’s yours?” Harry asked.
“Destroyed, along with Mercury,” Tom said. “Let’s go.” Tom picked up a small weapon and another device before heading to the exit and again, Harry followed. They reached the turbolift and Tom was about to press the call button when he froze.
“Tom?” Harry asked wondering if something was wrong. Tom didn’t respond. He eyes remained fixed on the door panel in front of them but he was seeing something else.
Tom closed he eyes and then looked again at the door but the image remained. “Not again,” he whispered.
“Tom?” Harry looked at the door and didn’t see anything out of the ordinary.
Tom was seeing an old nightmare that had plagued him for most of his life. The door was closed and only a small sliver of light passes through the small gap in the hinge. He knew what was on the other side and knew that once again she had died.
“Tom!” Harry cautiously placed a hand on his shoulder but pulled back immediately when Tom startled. “Are you alright?”
Tom looked around, recalling where he was. “I’m….” he rubbed his eyes, “I’ll be okay,” he said trying to convince himself.
“Maybe we should let Tuvok handle this,” Harry said but before Tom had a chance to respond, a phaser blast passed right between them striking the turbolift door. Tom and Harry took cover at he nearest side corridor and Tom peek around the edge to determine who had been shooting at them.
“You two, over there,” he heard a female voice order.
“Who is that?” Harry asked, also hearing the voice from down the corridor.
“Seska,” Tom said. Adrenaline was flowing through his veins and usually he would was able to control his nerves but after his recent traumas and the toxins that were still floating around inside him, he could hardly think straight. Leaning heavily against the wall he took deep breaths and tried to formulate a plan. Vaguely he heard Kim asking him something.
“This usually isn’t so difficult,” Tom mumbled to himself. He had to get a grip before Seska and her goons got there. Tom took another look around. It looked like the area was free of Kazon and Seska but he couldn’t be sure. “Stay sharp,” Tom said to Harry as they slowly started down the corridor, “One of us has to.”
“Tuvok, any answers yet?” Janeway asked as she strode to his station.
“Seska used her command codes to enter a delay subcommand into the processors.”
Janeway couldn’t believe they had overlooked Seska’s command codes. She looked at the information on the console and noticed that only s one of Seska’s codes was operational. The others were locked out.
“Who did this?” Janeway asked pointing to the codes. She hadn’t told anybody to take Seska’s codes online however two of three had been disbled and probably limited the damage Seska was able to cause them.
“I would have to assume, Mr. Paris,” Tuvok said.
Back in the corridor of deck three Harry and Tom were still creeping slowly along. When they came to a console on the wall. Tom went to work. They weren’t getting anything done at this rate. “Keep a look out.”
Harry kept watch while Tom worked. “What are you doing Harry asked taking a quick look around the corner.
“Keeping Seska isolated to this deck.” On the map of the deck, thirteen blue lines indication force-fields appeared. They were positioned to lock Seska and them into one quarter of deck three. “They aren’t going anywhere.”
Harry looked at the setup. “Neither are we.” As he turned to make sure they were still in the clear he saw a form coming from around a bend. “Tom,” he caught he other man’s attention as he fired a few shots. Three Kazon officers were coming after them and Tom and Harry had to retreat and find a place to take cover.
They rounded a sharp turn and Harry thought they were safe but was soon proven wrong. A shot hit him directly in the chest but before he fell to the ground Tom had caught him and pulled him into a small alcove.
The young ensign was conscious as Tom assessed the injury. The vest had stopped the blast but there would be bruising on the other side. “You’ll be fine, Harry,” Tom told him. “Stay here.” Tom darted out of the alcove firing a few shots as he did, narrowly missing Seska. He paused around a corner and reset his weapon before moving into the corridor and with one precise shot, he disabled Seska’s weapon.
A shock ran through the weapon in her hand. She tried to fire it at Tom who was approaching, but it didn’t work. Tossing it to the ground she pulled out a dagger and wielded it dangerously. Tom could easily have shot her and ended this confrontation but before he could more Kazon came from behind him.
Turing around quickly he disabled their weapons but before he could fire another shot he was tackled to the ground.
The Security team stepped off the turbolift on deck three having already cleared the decks above. They still hadn’t found Seska but that would soon change. As they walked down the corridor they were suddenly stopped when the security officer leading the group walked into a force-field. “What the hell is going on?” Chakotay asked no one in particular. They went to work trying to get the force -field down. While Chakotay tried to comm. Paris but there was not response.
Seska ripped the commbadge of his shirt and threw it down the hall. “You’re loosing your touch Paris. I didn’t think it would be nearly this easy to kill you,” she raised weapon she had acquired from one of the Kazon and fired.
End Part 16
Part 17 of 17 by Zappy Zaps
Disclaimer: All the Star Trek characters are Paramount’s. I don’t own them (yet). ;)
Archiving: Please do, but tell me! firstname.lastname@example.org
Author’s note: And now back to my favourite genre! Drama/Action/Adventure, Alternate Universe!! Mwa-ha ha ha haaa!! ‘((=/=))’ marks flashbacks, beginning and end.
Part 17 (the last part in this series!)
Just as she was pulling the trigger Tom used all his strength to shift positions pulling one of the Kazon men holding him, into the line of fire. One of the Kazon officers seeing that they were loosing control, punched their prisoner on his already injured shoulder. Tom collapsed to one knee as the pain overwhelmed his senses.
From out of seemingly nowhere a phaser fire rained down on the kazon intruders. Tom couldn’t see them but knew who it was. He recognized the sound of the weapon. It was the one he had given to Harry. Before his line of vision was further obscured by the two Kazon still fighting him Tom saw Seska turn and prepare to fire. Sensations of fear that Tom usually kept well under control began to overwhelm him as flashes of the past invaded his present.
He was having trouble keeping up with her as they ran from their attackers. The main power for the palace had been taken off line and only a torchlight lit their path. Tommy glance behind him and saw flash of light just before they rounded a bend.
“He’s catching up!” he told his mother.
“Quickly in here.” Merra stopped suddenly and pushed Tom into a small closet. “Take this,” she handed the child a phaser.
“Mommy?” he asked, unsure what she expected him to do.
“Shhh. You have to be very quiet,” she whispered. Tommy trusted her blindly and nodded. Light from around the bend warned them of the attacker’s approach. “I love you,” she said just before he closed the door.
“Mommy,” he whispered. What was she doing? Was she going to leave him here? “Mommy,” he called a little louder. There was not response. He moved to look through the small opening at the hinge but he couldn’t see her. Suddenly somebody ran right in front of him. In the following seconds the exchange of weapons fire echoed through the eerily desolate corridors and then only Tommy’s frantic pleas for his mother.
The silence from the corridor was deafening and enclosed space of the closet was suffocating. He had long given into his panic and fear was frantically yelling for his mother. He kicked and pushed on the door until it opened unexpectedly and he fell forward onto his hands and knees. His hands landed in a pool of blood and he stared at it in horror. Looking up he saw her. He couldn’t speak and his limbs trembled with fear. Slowly he crawled to her ignoring the blood.
As he approached he saw that her eye were open and he thought she’d be okay, but when he reached her side he knew he was wrong. “Mommy,” he whispered, choking on his tears. He gingerly reached out to touch her face. He became startling aware of the blood that covered him when he saw the streak of red that his touch left on her.
He pleaded with her not to go but he knew that he was too late. Her dead gaze seemed to rest on him and Tommy couldn’t look away. His own tears fell to the floor and mingled with the ever-increasing pool of blood. He cried silently and alone for and unknown length of time before several footsteps approached.
Ready to defend himself and his mother and ready to die if necessary he picked up the phaser she had given him and aimed down corridor. Tears continuously flowed down his face as more fear welled up inside him.
“Tommy! Merra!” a familiar voice called. He recognized it but still he kept his weapon poised to fire. Kail was the first around the bend and stopped dead in his tracks when he saw the horrific sight.
He saw his sister’s dead body, the body of her assailant and her son kneeling in her blood and Kail couldn’t move. A whimper broke him out of his trance and he locked eyes with his young nephew. His blue eyes were distress and confused and he still had the phaser pointed at Kail.
“Tommy,” Kail started gently, “put the phaser down.” As the other security officer arrived Kail gestured for them to stay back. He cautiously approached. “Tommy, I won’t hurt you.” Tommy watched carefully as Kail approached and reached for the weapon. He was directly in front of him and had Tommy decided to press the trigger, Kail would be hit.
Kail finally reached Tommy and easily took the weapons from his loosed grip. He tossed the weapon to a security guard and picked up the child. He was totally silent and had stopped crying.
As Kail carried him away, Tommy’s eye remained locked with his mother’s until one of the security guards closed her eyes.
With strength he was unaware he possessed Tom pushed the Kazon man away from him and grabbed Seska’s arm before she could fire. He took the weapon from her and shot the advancing Kazon. They both fell to the floor like a ton of bricks.
Tom turned back to Seska knowing it wasn’t wise to have his back to her for very long. She had her dagger out again and Tom took a step back to get out of the range of her weapon.
“Come on Tom,” Seska said with a smile. She dropped her weapon. “No weapons.” She went into a fighting stance. She knew Tom, like any other person, would want revenge for what she had done. She hope that his clouded mind would give her the advantage she needed, but like many before her and many after, she underestimated him.
Tom dropped the weapon to the floor and Seska advanced.
About fifteen meters away, Harry couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Tom hadn’t really thrown down his weapon to fight Seska? He was still feeling winded from his injury but with the help of the wall he was getting closer to them.
The first punch Seska threw, Tom feinted out of the way and knocked her to the floor. He took out a relatively small phaser but no less deadly, and it aimed at the woman at his feet.
“Tom don’t!” Harry yelled as he tried to move more quickly to him.
Tom ignored the Ensing and continued to stare down at Seska. “What the hell are you waiting for?” Seska asked him. “Shoot me!” she yelled her request so loudy that it seemed to echo in his head. “You’ll make Sobey so proud.”
An eternity seemed to pass as conflicting thoughts and emotion raged within him. His tenuous grip on his emotion was slipping. He wanted to give into her taunts and give her what she so rightfully deserved but in spite of everything that had happened, that she had done, he was still at odds with himself.
Tom pulled the trigger of the small weapon and a blue beam of energy was released. Seska’s eyes were tightly shut as she waited for the end, that didn’t come. She smelt something burning and opened her eyes. The carpeted ground next to her head had been burnt by the blast. Tom was still standing over her she looked up at him hardly believing that he had spared her.
After a tense moment of silence Tom stepped over her and towards Harry who was having more difficulty walking. Seska allowed herself to breath again and thanked whoever was watching over her that she had the chance to finish what she had started.
Harry was thankful for Tom’s help as the older man helped him to the ground. The pain in his chest wasn’t getting any better and breathing was still a chore. When Harry looked over Tom’s shoulder he saw Seska standing over them a dagger raised above her head, ready to plunge it into Tom’s back.
Using his last bit of strength Harry fired his weapon at her and at the same moment another blast of energy hit Seska as well. She fell to the floor with a thump. Tom glanced over his shoulder and saw her dead eyes staring back at him he closed his eyes and looked away.
“Tom, are you okay?” Harry asked when he noticed that his friend seemed to be distressed.
“Tom, Harry,” Chakotay called as the security team approached. He briefly took in the seen before him and watched as one of the security officers checked Seska for a pulse but found none.
“She’s gone,” the officer said moving on.
Tom helped Harry to stand saying, “You need to go to sickbay.”
“So do you,” Harry replied.
Chakotay sent and security officer with them just in case while he and the others cleaned up the mess. He covered Seska’s dead form with a grey covering. He had seen Seska ready to kill Tom with her dagger and shot her with his phaser, which was set on stun. The two blasts simultaneously must have been too much and killed her. As he walked away he couldn’t help thinking that she had deserved that fate more than anyone.
In sickbay, Tom helped Harry to a biobed. There were only a few injured people as that Kazon threat had been swiftly extinguished. Tom walked to the Doctor’s office and sat down. He needed to be alone for a few moments.
“There you are Ensign. Good as new,” The Doctor said.
Harry sat up and was pleased to find that no pain accompanied the action. He saw Tom sitting in the Doctor’s office and he didn’t look very good. The doctor was already heading towards him.
“Mr. Paris,” the Doctor addressed him as he entered his office. Tom was hunched over, elbows on his knees and hands on the top of his head.
“What?” Tom replied listlessly.
“I need to treat your wound,” the Doc informed him.
“Can you do it later, please?” Tom asked politely hoping the Doc would leave him be. He couldn’t feel any pain, in fact he was totally numb.
Tom didn’t know it but the Doctor had his tricorder out and was scanning in him with it. The result caused a frown to pass over the usual unemotional features of the hologram. He had noticed that Tom was shivering but the tricorder confirmed that Tom was in shock. The remaining toxins in his bloodstream only heighten the symptoms and the Doc’s worries.
“Tom,” the Doctor crouched down, “You need medical attention,” he said gently. After a few moments Tom stood and the Doctor lead him to a biobed. Harry was still in sickbay and watched with worry as Tom quietly went with the doctor. “Ensign you can go.”
Harry nodded and after a few silent seconds he left. Tom looked so pale and so tired; hopefully he’d be alright.
“All Kazon have been moved to cargobay one,” Tuvok reported to the Captain.
She acknowledge his report and tapped her commbadge. “Janeway to Torres, how are you coming with the transporters?” she asked.
“We just got transporter two online but the buffer capacity is limited. You’ll only be able to transport two at a time,” B’Elanna said.
“Understood. Janeway out.”
“We’re in orbit of the planet, Captain,” Baytart announced from the helm.
“Tuvok transport our guests to the surface and then break orbit and set a course for home maximum warp,” Kathryn ordered as she left the bridge.
Two hours later, Voyager was still undergoing repairs and system diagnostics were still being conducted. Captain Janeway walked into Sickbay and found it empty except for the Doctor who was still working in his office. She had excepted Tom to be here and wanted to check up on him.
“Captain, what can I do for you?” the Doc asked as he exited the office.
“Where’s Tom?” she asked.
“He’s on a biobed….” The Doctor trailed off when he saw that all the biobed were empty. “He was just here! I just check him ten minutes ago!”
“How is he?” Janeway asked.
“He’s on the road to recovery but it will be a long one. He’s still experiencing some very realistic, memory-induced delusions but they are less frequent. I believe the toxins will be out of his system in a few days.”
“Thank you, Doctor,” Janeway said. She looked around the room before leaving. She wanted to talk to Tom but she could wait.
Four days later, Voyager was back in one piece and the crew was settling into the welcome monotony of life in the Delta Quadrant without the Kazon chasing them. It was late in the evening and Tom had been talking with Captain Janeway earlier in the day. She had offered him a position on voyager. Lieutenant Tom Paris, chief Helmsman. Tom smiled. It had a nice ring to it.
Currently, Tom was standing in the observation deck, taking in the sights. Tomorrow would be his first day as a Starfleet officer, and his first day wearing that dumb getup they call a uniform.
As his gaze settled on their distant destination, his thoughts turned towards his family and his home. He hoped that they were alright. Thinking about family brought the memories of Sobey and his mother and for once a smile upturned his lips. When he thought of his mother, he no longer saw her dead eyes staring back at him. He saw her warm smile and he remembered her eyes, full of life. Maybe this was what a good day was like?
The chirp of his commbadge interrupted his thoughts. “Kim to Paris, I just finished my reports, what was it you wanted to show me?” Harry asked. Tom had spoken with him earlier and eluded that he had something that Harry should see.
“Meet me at holodeck one,” Tom said. “And B’Elanna will be their too,” Tom added.
“Okay. I’ll be there in five. Kim out.”
Tom took one last look at the vast expanse of space ahead of them before moving to the exit. He had to stop by his quarters and pick up a datachip. It was labelled ‘2KIM’. Datachip in hand Tom commed B’Elanna asked her to meet him and Kim at holodeck one.
When he got there, Harry and B’Elanna were already there. “You’re late,” B’Elanna informed.
“No I’m not. I arrived precisely when I intended on arriving,” Tom said as he uploaded the information from the data chip to the holodeck processors. He walked into the holodeck when he had finished and Harry and B’Elanna followed.
They hologrid had been replaced with a foggy street with a few local establishments here and there. They followed Tom to a small bar called ‘Sandrine’s’ and were astounded by how real the program was. The sounds, the smell, the temperature, everything had been recreated to create a realistic environment. Harry knew that this was the bar in France that Tom had been telling him about those weeks ago.
When they enter the bar a small blonde woman greeted them, and apparently knew Tom very well. Although she was only a holocharacter, B’Elanna wondered what the woman, Sandrine would be able to tell them about Tom.
Tom also introduced his friends to the other holocharacters, each with personalities so unique they had to be modelled after real people. The trio sat at a table and enjoyed the atmosphere. They were soon joined by a few other crewmembers looking for a place to relax.
The evening became the night and the trio of friends decided to leave the quant little program for their respective quarters. Tom closed the program and handed the datachip to Harry.
Harry saw the label and remembered seeing the datachip in Tom’s quarters when he had been looking through Tom’s database.
“I made the program a while ago but due to…recent events I forgot about it,” Tom explained as they left.
“Thanks Tom,” Harry replied. It wasn’t home, but in his hand he held a little piece of earth and it was comforting. “I think I’ll put it on the public list of programs.” Harry said and looked to his right to see if Tom minded. Tom just shrugged.
The next morning came quickly and the activity in Voyager picked up once again, as the days tasks were started. Alpha shift was about to begin and all of the senior officers except one was present. At 7:59 exactly, Lieutenant Thomas Eugene Corrin-Paris stepped on the bridge. He stood at attention on the main level to the right of the command chairs. Captain Janeway regarded him for a silent moment. He was wearing the red shouldered command uniform and it fit his tall form well, even if Tom didn’t look entirely comfortable in it yet. The captain saw the edge of something shiny underneath one of Tom’s sleaves and recognized the silver shem. She had done a bit of research into Fieran culture. She wanted to know a little about Tom even if he wasn’t going to be her source of information. She’d let him where the silver brace, knowing that it must mean a lot to him, one of his few ties to his home.
“Lieutenant Paris, reporting for duty,” he said. His demeanour was once again like a well-trained officer as he waited for the Captain’s response.
“Take the conn Lieutenant,” she ordered. Tom relieved Ensing Hamilton.
“Heading 21 mark 8, destination Earth,” Tom announced from the helm.
“Warp seven. Engage when ready,” Janeway said as she settled into her chair for a hopefully uneventful shift.
Recently Tom had only been able to see what he had lost in the delta quadrant. His home, his family his friend, his identity but everyone else had lost things of great importance too. He was starting to notice, however, all the things that he had gained. Still he’d rather go back to the way things were before the Caretaker changed things but he can’t and they all had to accept that. No matter how much they wished it wasn’t the truth was that they were alone in an uncharted quadrant, a lifetime away from their home. Turning his atterion back to his duties he noted the weight of the shem on his fore arm and wondered when the day would come that he would feel strong enough to face this reality without it.
The whisper was so light Tom wasn’t even sure it was real. He surreptitiously glanced around wondering who had said it. The voice had sounded so familiar but he couldn’t place it. Was it another delusion? Tom couldn’t be sure. These past few weeks had bee some of the most trying in his life and he wondered who it was that was guiding him and helping him through it.
“Thank you,” he whispered and though he didn’t know whom had helped him, he directed his thanks to his mother and his friend.
There were still many things that were a mystery to the Voyager crew and one of them was sitting at the helm. Most of the crew didn’t know why his surname was Paris instead of Corrin but to them, especially so far away from home, it didn’t matter. Besides, “what’s in name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”.
End Part 17 of 17
That’s it! Finally finished. You know the routine: email@example.com You’ll be hearing more from me soon! I know you’re all dreading but you just can’t shut me up! Freedom of speech, gotta love it!
Thanks to everyone left me a message! They were my incentive to finish the story! In the distant future I’ll write some stand alones about more of the adventures of Tom Corrin-Paris and the Voyager crew in the delta quadrant. Bye for now!
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.